Homeless or threatened with homelessness
Wyre Council has a legal duty to help people who are homeless (or about to lose their home) and who meet certain criteria. The criteria for deciding who we can help and what help can be offered is laid down in the Housing Act 1996 part VII (as amended 2002). The housing options team is responsible for assessing your situation and deciding whether or not you meet the criteria and qualify for help from the council.
If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness please complete an assessment form. We will then discuss the housing options available to you to see if there is anything we can do to prevent you becoming homeless.
If your homelessness cannot be prevented and you have not been able to access other accommodation we will consider your circumstances under homeless legislation. We then carry out a number of checks to see if what advice and assistance we can provide to you. These include:
Are you eligable?
Under the Housing Act 1996 you need to be classed as eligible to receive assistance with your housing problem. Some people who are subject to immigration control or people who have recently arrived in the UK may not be eligible. We can advise you as to your status in this respect.
Are you homeless or threatened with homelessness?
You are homeless if you have no home in the UK or anywhere else that it would be reasonable for you to occupy, or if you have been asked to leave your current home within 28 days. For example, if a court has ordered you to leave, or you are living with family or friends who have asked you to leave, or you are unable to live in your home due to violence, serious disrepair or financial hardship. While the law mentions 28 days we are pleased to assist anyone homeless or threatened with homelessness at any earlier stage. It is always better to seek advice as early as possible as the housing options team may be able to help you remain in your home and prevent you from becoming homeless, or resolve an issue you may have with your housing.
Are you in priority need?
The law offers a different level of help to homeless people classed as priority need compared to those who are non priority.
Priority need includes:
- Persons who are pregnant or who have dependent children living with them. A dependent child normally means a child under 18.
- Persons who are vulnerable as a result of their age or as a result of having a physical or mental disability or illness.
- People who are vulnerable as a result of domestic violence, or other violence and those made homeless due to an emergency such as a fire or flood.
- 16 and 17 year olds who are not in care
- People who are vulnerable because they are care leavers or who are vulnerable as a result of being in care or as a result of being in prison or other institutions
Are you intentionally homeless?
Part of our enquiries have to involves considering whether you became homeless as a result of you doing something deliberately which caused you to lose or give up your accommodation, for example, by not paying your rent or mortgage when you were able to afford to do so.
If you are found to be intentionally homeless the legislation entitles you to less help although the housing options team will always give you advice and assistance depending on your specific circumstances.
It is important for us to be able to assess your circumstances as fully and as fairly as possible so please be prepared to provide information about why you have lost or are about to lose your home.
Do you have a local connection?
Wyre council may consider if you have a local connection to the borough. You will have a local connection if you have lived in Wyre for six months out of the last 12 months, or three years out of the last five years, if you have permanent employment in Wyre, or if you have close family who have lived in Wyre for the last five years and you have sufficiently close links to them in the form of frequent contact, commitment or dependency. We will also consider any other special circumstances for you needing to live in Wyre, for example if you are unsafe in the area where you do have a local connection. If you do not have a local connection to Wyre, we may refer you to an authority where you do have a local connection.
If you are threatened with homelessness please complete an assessment form.
If you are homeless and have nowhere to stay tonight please make contact with Wyre Council's housing options team by telephoning 01253 891000. If your call is out of normal working hours you will hear a recorded message giving you an alternative number to call.
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