Homelessness Advice

Homelessness Advice

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update:

Following the announcement from the Prime Minister on the 23 March 2020, restricting unnecessary movements, we have shut our offices to the public and all interviews will be conducted over the telephone until further notice.  We will be prioritising contact with those who are already homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness.

Current advice for private renters and home owners 

Recently the government announced a suspension on all evictions for at least the next 3 months. If you have recently received a notice to quit or possession order which is due to expire during this 3 months you do not need to leave. It's important to remember this is only a suspension of possession action and it may be that your mortgage company or landlord commence action again after the suspension is lifted. 

Private renters - this is not a 3 month payment holiday and you still need to ensure your rent is paid. If you have experienced a drop income as a result of recent events please ensure you seek advice from the DWP to see if you're able to get assistance with Universal Credit.

Home owners - the government has agreed with mortgage lenders that they will offer repayment holidays of up to 3 months to households in financial difficulty due to COVID-19.  You will need to contact your mortgage company directly to apply for a payment holiday.

Are you staying with friends or family? 

We are under great pressure to ensure that we have sufficient provision available to support our most vulnerable in society with accommodation and as demands increase on the health system there is a good chance we will be asked to assist in supporting early discharges from hospital to free up hospital beds. We need your support with this and we expect you to remain staying with your friends and family. 

Where you are part of a household that is self-isolating we expect everybody to follow Government guidance and to remain together for a least 14 days.

Need Homelessness Advice?

If you are not already registered with us as needing homelessness advice and you are likely to become homeless you should register with us online using the Housing Jigsaw website.

Housing Jigsaw – register online for homelessness advice

Once you've registered on Housing Jigsaw, select Tendring from the local authority drop down list and choose Homelessness Assistance to complete the online form. 

We will contact with you within 2 working days of receiving your form to advise you of the next steps.

If you cannot register online and you are currently homeless, please call our contact centre on 01255 686868 and ask to speak to the Housing Solutions Team, or email housingoptions@tendringdc.gov.uk

Duty To Refer

From 1 October 2018 certain public authorities are required to notify a housing authority of service users they consider may be homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days. The public services included in the duty are as follows:

  • Prisons;
  • Youth offender institutions;
  • Secure training centres;
  • Secure colleges;
  • Youth offending teams;
  • Probation services (including community rehabilitation companies);
  • Jobcentre plus;
  • Social service authorities;
  • Emergency departments;
  • Urgent treatment centres; and
  • Hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care;

The Secretary of State for Defence is also subject to the duty to refer in relation to members of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marine, the regular Army and the Royal Air Force.

If you are one of the above public bodies and you wish to make a referral then please follow the link to our referral system called ALERT.

ALERT is a free tool provided to all Local Authorities in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. It supports partnership working by providing a secure and easy to use platform for making referrals including the new 213B duty placed on specific public bodies.

If you are unable to access ALERT then please send your referral to dutytorefer@tendringdc.gov.uk including as much information about your client as possible.  

Further guidance and a simple form template is available on www.gov.uk if you are not able to refer through our referral system ALERT.

What Happens Next?

All referrals to Tendring District Council will be reviewed and contact will be made with the client within 5 working days. If we are satisfied that the client is eligible for help and they are either homeless now, or threatened with homelessness within 56 days,  they will be offered an appointment for a full assessment.    If the client is not homeless they will be provided with the appropriate advice and assistance.

Further Information

Agency Guide to making a referral using ALERT

Gov.uk - A guide to the duty to refer

Rough Sleepers

If you are sleeping rough please call our contact centre on 01255 686868 and ask to speak to the Housing Solutions Team.

If you wish to report someone sleeping rough please report this via streetlink www.streetlink.org.uk

Homelessness Reduction Act

The Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) sets out the way we deal with any eligible person who is at risk of homelessness. Helpful guidance explaining the Act can be found in fact sheets produced by the Government.

It is important that you seek advice as soon as possible if you are homeless or going to be made homeless. General self help advice is available on this website.

Support In Your Home

The Essex Outreach Support Service offers support to people living in Essex who are experiencing a range of problems that are impacting on their health, housing or financial wellbeing. 

They can help with a range of different things such as:

  • Benefit claims and advice
  • Support for drug and alcohol problems
  • Help with managing rent arrears
  • Getting support with mental health
  • Help with managing money and budgeting
  • Care and support options in Essex
  • Health and wellbeing

For further information please call Peabody on 0800 288 8883

Or access their website for further information: https://www.peabodycareandsupport.org.uk/essex-outreach-support/

Last updated on: 30/03/2020 - 08:07