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Homelessness

How we help people who are or are at risk of becoming homeless.

Published on: 30 December 2020

Last updated: 30 December 2020

Prevention and relief duties

Prevention Duty

If you are threatened with homelessness within 56 days you will be owed the Prevention Duty.

If you are already homeless you will move directly onto the Relief Duty.

During the Prevention Duty we must take reasonable steps to prevent any eligible applicant from becoming homeless, regardless of priority need status, intentionality and whether they have a local connection.

This can involve assisting you to stay in your current accommodation or helping you to find a new place to live. 

Personalised Housing Plans

We will carry out an assessment of your circumstances and your needs and will work with you to create a Personalised Housing Plan.

Your Personalised Housing Plan will set out the reasonable steps that both you and we will take to prevent you from becoming homeless.

Your plan will contain mandatory actions and recommended steps which could relate to your wider circumstances.  If you are working with other agencies, they can be involved in your plan and it can be shared with them, with your consent.

Your Personalised Housing Plan will be reviewed on a regular basis with your Housing Officer.

If you deliberately and unreasonably refuse to cooperate with the required steps identified within your Personalised Housing Plan, then you could be issued with a notice which will bring the Prevention Duty to an end.

Relief Duty

If we have not been able to prevent you from becoming homeless under the Prevention Duty, you will be owed the Relief Duty.

During the Relief Duty we must take reasonable steps to help you to secure suitable accommodation. The Relief Duty lasts for up to 56 days and is available to all households who are homeless and eligible, regardless of whether they have a priority need.

If you are a priority need household, for example you have dependent children or are vulnerable in some way, then you will be provided with interim accommodation whilst we carry out reasonable steps to help you secure alternative accommodation.

Your Personalised Housing Plan will be updated to reflect that you are now in the Relief Duty and new actions are likely to be set to enable you to secure suitable accommodation.

The Relief Duty can be ended in the following ways

  • if we have successfully relieved your homelessness  and we are satisfied that you have suitable accommodation that has been secured for you and is expected to be available for at least 6 months 
  • if you accept or refuse a final offer of accommodation 
  • if you withdraw your application or we are not able to make contact with you
  • if you cease to be eligible for Housing Assistance
  • if you lose interim accommodation intentionally that has been provided to you under the Relief Duty 
  • if we have taken reasonable steps for 56 days to help you secure accommodation - if this has not been successful and you/ your household is in priority need and homeless through no fault of your own then you will be owed the main homelessness duty
  • if you deliberately and unreasonably refuse to co-operate with your personalised housing plan - if you are in priority need and not intentionally homeless, you will be made a final offer of a tenancy lasting at least 6 months but you will not be owed the full housing duty
  • if you refuse an offer of suitable accommodation which is expected to be available for at least 6 months

You will be notified in writing if the Relief Duty is going to end. If you disagree with a decision to end your Relief Duty you can request a review of this decision.