Homelessness and Housing Advice

Homeless or at risk of Homelessness?

The Council has a duty to assist people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness within 56 days.

Wherever possible we want to prevent homelessness and we will work with you to help you stay in your home but if that isn’t possible, we will help you find suitable alternative housing.

Making a homeless application

Please get in touch with the Housing Advice team team by telephoning us on 01254-388111 or complete an online enquiry. The on line form can be found on the Hyndburn Borough Council website, under the Housing Advice section.

https://www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk/homelessness-and-housing-advice/

Once you have completed the on line form a Housing Advice Officer will then contact you to discuss your situation and offer you an appointment if this is needed. You will be offered an appointment within 7 working days. If you are homeless on the day then the Duty Officer will see you on the same day.

We will carry out an initial assessment of your circumstances, which may take up to an hour and a half. You will be asked questions about your circumstances and other members of your household and be asked to provide certain documents to support your application.

The Housing Advice Officer will assess the information provided and decide what duty if any we owe you. We may need further information from you before we can make a decision.

Homeless prevention

If you are threatened with homelessness in 56 days, then the Council may well owe you a Prevention Duty. This means that the Council must take reasonable steps to help you remain in your accommodation wherever possible. This could be by helping you to sort out your rent arrears or mediating with your family if they are asking you to leave. If we cannot keep you in your current accommodation, we will help you to look for somewhere else to live. You will be given a Personal Housing Plan which lists actions for you and the Council to take to resolve your situation.

Homeless relief

If you are actually homeless, then the Council may well owe you a Relief Duty for up to 56 days. This means that the Council must take reasonable steps to help you to look for other accommodation. This does not mean that the Council will offer you a property, but we will give you advice on how to find accommodation that is suitable and affordable for your needs. You will be given a Personal Housing Plan which lists actions for you and the Council to take to resolve your situation.

For detailed information on the Homeless Reduction Act 2017, please click on the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/homelessness-reduction-bill-policy-factsheets

Will you provide temporary accommodation?

The Council doesn’t have to provide temporary accommodation to everybody who is homeless – the help that we can give depends on whether or not we think you are in priority need or vulnerable.

Even if we cannot provide temporary accommodation, we will always try and give you advice on alternative options.

Homeless law assessment terminology.

The homeless law requires local authorities to make decisions on different elements of your circumstances; some of these are very detailed and complex but to help you understand the process this is a general overview:

Eligible for assistance

Most people will be eligible for assistance; however some people subject to immigration control and other persons from abroad may not be.

Homeless or threatened with homelessness

This means if you have nowhere legally to stay that is reasonable for you to do so, or if you will have to leave your accommodation within 56 days.

Priority Need

There are several categories of priority need set out in the homeless law, for example having dependent children or whether a person is vulnerable.

Intentionally homeless

Have you done, or failed to do something, that has caused you to become homeless. For more detailed explanations of the homeless legislation and additional general advice on housing and homelessness issues and your rights, you can also visit the Shelter website at www.shelter.org.uk or call the Housing Advice Team at Hyndburn Borough Council. Telephone 01254-388111.

Will I get Social Housing?

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, the Council will give you some priority on the housing register but due to high demand and low turnover in some areas, there is no guarantee that you will get an offer of social housing. In most cases we would encourage you to look for accommodation in the private rented sector,   in some cases we may offer assistance with bonds and rent in advance to enable people to access this.

All social housing is advertised on the sub regional choice based letting site call B-with-us. All applications can be completed via their website. www.b-with-us.com

Outside office hours

If you need help in an emergency out of office hours, call the Hyndburn Council out of Hours Service on 01254 356299.