On 3rd April 2018 the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) came into effect and changed the way we deal with any eligible person who is at risk of homelessness. Helpful guidance explaining these changes 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.
At Risk Of Becoming Homeless
If you are threatened with homelessness we will work with you to try and prevent this. We will offer you an appointment for a full assessment of your circumstances and then work with you to draw up a Personal Housing Plan. Your Personal Housing Plan will set out reasonable steps you can take to stop you from becoming homeless. It will also set out what we will do to assist you, as well as which other agencies can help you.
The advice we can give you will depend on your individual circumstances. Our assistance could include:
- Negotiating with your landlord for you to remain in your rented property if you have been asked to leave a private tenancy
- Referring you to support agencies if you are struggling to pay your rent or mortgage
- Referring you to mediation if you are being asked to leave home by your family
- Asking an environmental Health Officer to inspect your home if it is in disrepair
- Give you advice on your rights if your relationship has broken down or you have experienced Domestic Abuse
If we are unable to prevent you from losing your home, we will give you advice on how you can relieve your homelessness such as:
- Giving you advice on finding private rented accommodation
- Advise if you are eligible to join the housing register
- Applying for an exchange if you are a council or housing association tenant.
- Giving you advice on low cost home ownership schemes.
If you wish to book an appointment for a full assessment please follow this link to complete our homelessness advice form.
If you are already homeless the Council will work with you to try to relieve your homelessness. We will offer you an appointment for a full assessment of your circumstances and then work with you to draw up a Personal Housing Plan. Your Personal Housing Plan will set out reasonable steps you can take to resolve your homeless situation such as finding private rented accommodation. Your plan will also set out what we will do to assist you as well as which other agencies can help you. We only have a legal duty to provide accommodation for some households who are homeless so you should make every effort to work with us and other agencies, to resolve your situation.
If you are single person 18 or over, the following organisations may be able to help you:
If you wish to book an appointment for a full assessment please click this link to complete our Homelessness advice form.
Visit the Housing Solutions Team at the 90 Pier Avenue, Clacton on Sea, Essex, CO15 1NJ
Office hours are 10am-4pm Monday to Friday
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:
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.