homelessness advice leaflet

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  • Homelessness

    If you are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, find out how we can help you.


  • 2

    If you are homeless, or think you may become homeless, we can help you.

    Your housing needs You dont have to be living on the street to be homeless. You might be legally classed as homeless if you are sleeping on a friends sofa, staying in a hostel, live in an overcrowded property or any other bad living conditions.

    Our duty to house you As a local authority, we have a duty to help anyone in Lichfield District who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

    However, our first priority is to look at how we can prevent you from becoming homeless. We do this by either making sure that you can remain in your home, or providing alternative accommodation.

    To find out more about the housing options that are available to you, take a look at the Housing Options & Advice leaflet in the You and your home series of leaflets.

    What does the law say? Homelessness is covered in Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002).

    The help we can offer is set down in this legislation. This could range from giving you housing advice to finding you somewhere to live.

    If you tell us you are homeless, we have a duty to investigate your situation.

    The type of help we give depends on whether you fulfil the following criteria:

    You are eligible for assistance We can only help you if you are legally entitled to our services.

    You are homeless or at risk of homelessness This means there is nowhere in this country or abroad where you and your household could reasonably live.

  • Here to help If you are worried that you may be at risk of becoming homeless, please contact us. We may be able to help you before the problem gets worse.

    You are in a priority need group This usually includes people with dependent children or anyone expecting a baby. It also includes anyone who is vulnerable because of their age or disability, and anyone made homeless through an emergency.

    You are not homeless intentionally This means you have not caused your homelessness by deliberately doing or not doing something that would have made sure you could stay in your home - e.g. paying your rent.

    You have a local connection This means you live, or recently lived, in the district or have close relatives or a job in the district.

    Temporary accommodation If you have nowhere to stay, and we think you might have a priority need, well house you temporarily, while were looking into your case.

    Decision Once weve decided if you meet the criteria, we will write to you with our decision. This will explain how we came to the decision and whether we have a duty to house you. If you dont agree with us, you have a right to appeal. See the leaflet, Your Right to a Review.

    Permanent accommodation If you meet the criteria, you become accepted statutory homeless, and are placed in band 1 on the UChoose housing register. This means you can express an interest in any suitable properties advertised on UChoose. We may also offer you somewhere to live through a private landlord. Once youve been offered a suitable home, we will consider our duty to house you completed. If you feel the accommodation is unsuitable, you have the right to appeal. See the leaflet, Your Right to a Review.

  • www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/housing

    If you need this leaflet in another format, such as large print, please call Lichfield District Council on 01543 308000 and ask to speak to housing services or email housing@lichfielddc.gov.uk

    Contact us

    Ask for the housing options team

    Telephone: 01543 308000, Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 12 noon and 2pm to 5pm.

    Email: housing@lichfielddc.gov.uk

    Address: Housing Services District Council House Frog Lane Lichfield Staffordshire WS13 6ZE

    Other leaflets in the You and Your Home series: Housing Services Adapt or Improve your Home Private Rented Accommodation Homelessness Homelessness Reviews &

    Appeals Money Advice

    For help and advice to find a home thats right for you, visit our housing options and advice website at: www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/housingoptions

    Issue number: 1