If you have found yourself to be at risk of losing your home, or are already homeless, then approaching the council for support is one of the most important first steps to take. The first step following your approach is to have a homeless assessment, which is done by one of our housing officers and takes around an hour and a half.
The assessment will look at your housing circumstances and as a result you will be awarded one of two housing duties: prevention or relief. The prevention duty will be awarded if you are risk of homelessness and not currently homeless, and it allows an officer 56 days to work with you to prevent you from becoming homeless. The relief duty will be awarded if you are already homeless and is also 56 days.
Once you have had your homeless assessment, the officer who did your assessment will be assigned as your housing officer. Your housing officer will be your primary point of contact and will work with you from your initial homelessness assessment until your homelessness is prevented or relieved. They will help you with the following:
Whilst your housing officer will help you improve your housing situation, it is important to remember that you are ultimately responsible for taking the steps to help yourself and will be responsible for doing what you agree to in your personal housing plan. Your housing officer will guide you through the steps you need to take, but it is you who needs be the one taking them.
Your housing officer will provide you with all the resource necessary to improve your homeless situation, and it is our priority to ensure that you are in need of our support for a short a time as possible. But in this time, as stated, it is important that you always cooperate, be open to a range of housing options, and provide any relevant information or documents to your housing officer as soon as you possibly can.