Help with Homelessness
If you are homeless, new legal duties enable us to work with you to find a new home. We will endeavour to ensure you are supported in accessing the private rented sector, specialist housing (where necessary) and/or applying for social accommodation.
We will try and assist you to keep your current home if you are threatened with becoming homeless within the next 56 days.
To access help please complete our online Housing Advice Request form through the Housing Assistance Referral Portal. Following completion of this form a Housing Advice & Homeless Prevention Officer will contact you. Depending on your circumstances you may receive housing advice or be allocated an individual case Officer for further assistance.
Avoiding becoming homeless
If you are homeless or about to become homeless new legal duties enable us to work with you to find a new home. We can also try to help you keep your current home if you are threatened with becoming homeless within the next 56 days.
If you're in danger of losing your home, we will work with you to try to prevent this happening.
We can help if you're fleeing domestic abuse, facing possession proceedings, being evicted by a private landlord or being asked to leave by friends or relatives.
If it is not possible to prevent you becoming homeless, we will try to help you to find a new home.
Private Rented Sector Accommodation
If you are struggling with accessing a private tenancy, we may be able to help. If you are at risk of homelessness or are homeless please complete a Housing Advice Request form through theHousing Assistance Referral Portal. We may be able to help with advice on benefits, areas of affordability in the region and potentially financial assistance.
You may be eligible for financial assistance through Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP), through Prevention budgets or through our Rent Deposit Scheme (RDS). Your allocated case Officer will be able to advise your further.
The Rent Deposit Scheme offers bond-scheme deposits for landlords, as well as interest-free loans to applicants for Rent in Advance. Assistance is offered to households who meet the terms of the scheme which your allocated Officer will be able to explain to you.
If you are sleeping rough in the Borough of Brentwood there are services, including the Council, which may be able to support you. Please contact us directly so we can discuss your circumstances. Either complete the online Housing Advice Request form above, telephone 01277 312500 or present at the Town Hall 8.30am to 5.00pm Mon-Thurs (up to 4.30pm on Fridays). For out-of-hours emergencies dial 01277 312500 and you will be put through to an ‘Out-of-Hours’ Officer.
If you are aware of an individual sleeping rough, then please report it through Streetlink. If the person needs urgent medical attention or you believe they are under 18 years of age please call 999.
If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness please read our Domestic Violence page.
If you require additional support, please complete the Housing Advice request form through the Housing Assistance Referral Portal.
Duty to Refer
From 1st October 2018 certain professional organisations will have a duty to refer to a local housing authority anybody who they believe might be homeless.Organisations responsible for making these referrals include:
- Prisons and youth offender institutions
- Secure training centres and colleges
- Youth offending teams and probation services
- Jobcentre Plus
- Accident and emergency services provided in a hospital
- Urgent treatment centres (such as walk-in centres)
- In-patient hospitals
- Social service authorities
- Ministry of Defence (for members of the regular armed forces)
What to ask:
Prior to making a referral please ensure you have checked if:
- You have consent from the customer to make the referral.
- You know which local Housing Authority the customer wants to be referred to.
- Has a referral already been made by another Agency – multiple referrals may cause delays.
Choose an appropriate local housing authority:
The customer can choose where to be referred to. Under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 if the individual is at risk of homelessness within 56 days then the Local Authority must assess housing needs and circumstances and produce a Personal Housing Plan.
If the client is already homeless then the Council will investigate whether there is a local connection to the Borough of Brentwood. If there is not then we’ll refer them to the Local Authority where they do have a previous connection, unless they do not have one or it would not be safe.
How to make a referral:
Please complete the Housing Advice Request form through the Housing Assistance Referral Portal. Please ensure it is fully completed to allow for us to communicate with the customer and to ensure we have sufficient details to take the matter forwards.
Homeless Application (Housing Act 1996)
The Council will only offer emergency accommodation if we have reason to believe you are:
- Eligible: Whether you are eligible for assistance depends on your immigration status. For EEA nationals, including UK nationals, a habitual residence test will also be applied. If you are not eligible for assistance you may be referred to Social Services or the Home Office.
- Homeless: Are you homeless or at risk of becoming homeless within 56 days
- Priority Need: Just because an individual is homeless does not make them in priority need under the law. Only certain categories of applicants will be in Priority Need. You would need to contact us to find out more.
If we have reason to believe all of the three categories above are met, then emergency accommodation will be provided whilst further investigations are conducted.
Our resources for emergency housing include shared accommodation and the use of hostel or bed & breakfast accommodation. Accommodations may be outside of the Borough in areas such as Harlow, Southend or Ilford (depending on availability) in the short term. All applicants have to pay a daily amenity charge and a daily room charge. If you are eligible for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit this may pay all or part of the room charge. All applicants have to pay the full amenity charge.
The Council has limited emergency accommodation within the Borough which is heavily over-subscribed. We do everything to try to ensure households are offered in-Borough accommodation as soon as possible.
Emergency accommodation is only offered if you have no family or friends or other alternative accommodation for the period in which your full homeless application is being investigated.
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