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.

How can we help

If you are homeless or worried about becoming homeless within the next 8 weeks (56 days) we’ll discuss your situation and needs with you.

As part of our assessment, we'll make enquiries and if we determine that you are homeless, or threatened with homelessness, we will draw up a Personalised Housing Plan with you.

Your Personalised Housing Plan will list actions for both you and your Housing Solutions Officer to take to either:

  • stop you becoming homeless
  • help you find new accommodation if you’re already homeless 

If you are homeless, and you do not have a local connection to Tendring, you may be referred to a local authority where you do have a connection (unless you are at risk of violence or domestic abuse in that area).

You are unlikely to be offered a council property, even if you are homeless.  There are approximately 1700 households in Tendring who are currently on the Housing Register for council or housing association housing, and there are very few available properties. 

Complete an on-line Self-Referral form

If you are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, you need to register and complete a self-referral form to Tendring following the link below:

Housing Jigsaw – register online for homelessness advice

We will contact you once we have received your form to advise you of the next steps, which may include a telephone appointment with a Housing Solutions Officer.

When we contact you, we may need to ask you a lot of questions in order to fully understand and assess your circumstances.  We will also ask you to provide some or all of the following documents:

  • Proof of ID such as passport or birth certificate
  • Birth certificates for any children
  • Tenancy agreement
  • Any notice served by your landlord
  • Proof of pregnancy or any medical conditions
  • Bank statements, wage slips and benefit letters

It is important for you to be open and honest at your assessment so we can give you the correct advice and support.

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

On-line advice

If you are not homeless but you are worried about your housing situation, please see our advice pages on the left menu such as:

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: 10/06/2020 - 12:47