It is important to stay calm if you are threatened with homelessness. There is a lot of support to help you. Please seek advice as soon as possible if you are worried about your housing situation.
Being homeless does not always mean sleeping rough, it could also mean staying with family or friends in a home that is not your own.
Duty to refer
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 introduced a duty on social services authorities, amongst others, to refer people they believe to be homeless or threatened with homelessness to a council’s homelessness service. They must obtain consent from the individual before making a referral. Referrals should be made within 56 days to the appropriate housing authority.
This means that people who are at risk of becoming homeless are supported earlier and may be prevented from becoming homeless.
Duty to refer forms for each council can be found below:
Support from local councils
You can make a homeless application to your local council if you are homeless now or worried that you could be homeless in the next 2 months. Find your local council homelessness advice:
- North Warwickshire
- Nuneaton and Bedworth plus their landlord solutions project for early intervention
- Rugby - you can also register on Rugby’s online housing portal if threatened with homelessness in the next 56 days
Local housing-related support
Housing related support promotes independent living. Support is offered to people aged 16 and over who need help to stay in their present accommodation or need to find suitable accommodation.
Priority need means that you may get emergency support or be classed as higher priority if you have a vulnerable characteristic. Some people always have a priority need. These are if you or someone you are living with is:
- At risk of domestic abuse
- Pregnant or living with dependent children
- Homeless as a result of fire, flood or other disaster
- A young adult who is a care leaver aged 18 to 20
- A young person aged 16 or 17
Those who may be vulnerable and therefore have a priority need include:
- Mental health problems or a learning disability
- Physical conditions or a serious health condition
- Time spent in care, prison or the armed forces
- Fleeing violence from someone who is not a partner or a relative
- Old age
- Any other special reason
If you are a priority need, then the Council must give you emergency housing whilst you are homeless.
Homeless help for 16 and 17 year olds (and up to the age of 25)
Warwickshire’s children’s services have a responsibility for housing and support if you are under 18 and homeless.
If you have been housed by social services whilst you were 16 or 17, you will be considered to be ‘leaving care’ once you turn 18 but are under 21. Support is provided to help you move to different accommodation if you need to once you turn 18.
There is a useful guide for young people leaving care which was co-produced with young people:
Warwickshire housing-related support can help support you to find suitable housing. They support young people under 21 as well as older adults.
Useful information provided by Shelter for young people:
- The local authority duties to homeless 16 and 17 year olds
- Social services assessments and duties to children in need
- Independent living for young people leaving care
- Use Shelter’s homeless tool to check if you can get help from your council
Help for service leavers, veterans and their families
Warwickshire’s support for the armed forces site contains a wealth of information for service leavers, veterans and their families around housing and homelessness.
Citizens Advice also provide information on housing options.
- Citizens Advice housing options
- Homeless ex-armed forces advice leaflet (Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council)
Support for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities
Help if you are homeless due to domestic abuse
No fixed address
It can be hard for people with no fixed address to open a bank account. This then makes it harder to get housing benefit or other income related benefits. HSBC offer a ‘no fixed address’ service to address this difficulty. P3 housing support in Warwickshire are an authorised charity able to refer to this service.