If you are homeless or think you will become homeless contact us as soon as possible by
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- phone 01256 844844 at any time
- visit the council offices during office hours Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm (excluding bank holidays)
We are here to help you from becoming homeless and if you are homeless to assist you to find suitable accommodation. Our Homeless Prevention Officers will give you advice and support with your housing situation.
- Prepare for your assessment
Your Homeless Prevention Officer will be the person helping you with your housing situation. You will have an assessment with them. This is by video call, telephone or in person.
An assessment can last up to 2 hours. For the assessment you will need:
- ID for yourself and your household
- bank statements for the last 3 months
- proof of your income for the last 3 months
- your tenancy or licence agreement
- any eviction notices you have received
- During your assessment
Your Homeless Prevention Officer will ask you about your housing situation and if you have any support needs. They will give you advice and suitable options based on your situation.
They will explain what duties under the law, the council may owe to you. If the council owes you a duty, you and your Homeless Prevention Officer will create a personalised housing plan. This plan details the steps you and the council will take to help you to prevent your homelessness or to find suitable accommodation. You should follow your agreed actions. Once you have completed these, you should update your Homeless Prevention Officer.
You will also complete:
- an income and expenditure form which helps to understand what accommodation is affordable for you
- a consent form to allow us to make enquiries into your housing situation
- a medical declaration form (if applicable)
- The help we offer
We can help you with a range of housing options and will provide:
- help to mediate with family or friends to help keep you in your current home
- advice on resolving disputes with your landlord to stop your eviction
- advice on finding private rented accommodation and check whether your notice is valid
- affordability checks to find out what accommodation you can afford
- eligibility checks for the council’s deposit bond scheme (if applicable)
- information on how to find older persons accommodation, also called sheltered housing
- information on low cost home ownership
- referrals to supported accommodation
- referrals to hostel accommodation, Julian House outreach service and other relevant support agencies
- help for you to have adaptations to your current home to make it more suitable to your needs
- Prevention and support
We can refer you to our in-house prevention and support team who can help you to:
- understand which benefits you can claim
- apply for these benefits, including housing benefit or universal credit
- access budgeting and debt advice
- access support services to help you with issues that might be impacting your housing situation
- The enquiries we make into your housing situation
Your Homeless Prevention Officer will make enquiries into your housing situation. The law, the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, tells the council how we must deal with homelessness and who is eligible for accommodation. Unfortunately, this is not everyone who is homeless. If you meet the criteria, the council will ensure you have accommodation. This is most likely to be private rented accommodation.
The council may make enquiries into the following areas:
- Eligibility for housing help
- if you are subject to immigration control or are an asylum seeker, you may not be eligible for help
- Homeless or threatened with homelessness
- You are homeless if you do not have the right to live in a property or if it would be unsafe for you to remain in your current home. You are threatened with homelessness if you are likely to lose your home in the next 56 days.
- Priority need
- the council must follow the law when dealing with your housing situation and will decide whether you are in priority need. Unfortunately, not everyone who is homeless is in priority need. If you are eligible for help, homeless and in priority need the council has a duty to find you emergency accommodation.
You are only in priority need if you:
- have dependent children living with you
- are pregnant
- are either a young person 16 or 17, or a Care Leaver aged 18 to 20
- are homeless because you are a victim of domestic abuse
- are homeless due to an emergency such as fire or flood
You may also be in priority need if you are vulnerable due to:
- Mental or physical illness
- Old age
- Having served a custodial sentence or been remanded in custody
- Fleeing violence
- Having been a member of Her Majesty’s regular naval, military or air forces
- Being aged 21 and having been looked after, accommodated, or fostered by the State.
- Intentionally homeless
- you are intentionally homeless if, because of something you have done or failed to do, responsible for your own homelessness. If you are intentionally homeless the council can only provide temporary accommodation for a reasonable time to allow you to find your own accommodation.
- A local connection
- we look at whether you have a local connection to the borough. You must:
- live within the Basingstoke and Deane borough and have done so for six of the last 12 months or three of the last five years or,
- have full-time permanent employment within the borough or,
- have close family members resident in the borough or,
- meet the special circumstances criteria
- The council's duties
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 tells us which duties we may owe to you. You should contact the council at the earliest opportunity to allow us time to work with you. These duties are:
- The Prevention Duty
If you are eligible for help and threatened with homelessness within 56 days, we have a duty to help you stay in your home. If you cannot stay, we will help you to find different accommodation.
This duty ends in several ways, usually if you have accommodation available for at least six months or we have worked with you for 56 days. The duty may also end if we have lost contact with you, you refuse to co-operate with us or you refuse suitable accommodation. If you cannot prevent your homelessness, we will then owe you the relief duty.
- The Relief Duty
If you are eligible for help and homeless, we have a duty to help you find accommodation. This duty can last for up to 56 days.
This duty ends in several ways, usually if you have accommodation available for at least six months. The duty may also end if we have lost contact with you, you refuse to co-operate with us or you refuse suitable accommodation.
- The interim accommodation duty
Interim accommodation is emergency accommodation such as bed and breakfast. Not everyone meets the criteria for emergency accommodation. If you do not meet the criteria, we will still offer you help and advice with finding your own accommodation. If we provide you with bed and breakfast accommodation, you are charged for this. You may be able to get some help towards the cost through housing benefit.
- The main housing duty
If you are homeless, in priority need and not intentionally homeless, we will owe you the main housing duty. This duty is to secure accommodation for you. We may not be able to re-house you where you want to live, but we will try to secure accommodation within the borough. If accommodation is not available, we may have to look in other areas. If you refuse suitable accommodation, we do not have to offer you other accommodation.
- The Prevention Duty
- Communicating with your Homeless Prevention Officer
You should update your Homeless Prevention Officer if your circumstances change.
You can expect to receive a range of letters, which are usually emailed to you. These are acceptance of duty letters, personalised housing plan and end of duty letters. If you are not happy with a decision made by your Homeless Prevention Officer you may have a right to review it. Your letter will outline how to do this.
If you no longer need help, you should contact your Homeless Prevention Officer to inform them.
If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness please email the Homelessness Prevention Team