Homelessness information 2019

Homelessness - help and advice

All councils have a legal responsibility to help homeless people and their families, and to ensure their rights are upheld. The council has strict rules about who is homeless and in priority need. If you do not meet these requirements the council still has a duty to offer you advice and assistance and devise a personal housing plan relevant to your circumstances. The council will focus on trying to prevent homelessness occurring and it is therefore important that you contact us as soon as possible if you are threatened with homelessness.

The council will look at the following criteria when assessing a homeless application:

Are you eligible for assistance?

You are eligible for assistance if you are a British citizen and usually resident in the UK.

Are you homeless?

You are homeless if:

  • you have no accommodation anywhere that you can legally occupy. It is likely that you will lose your accommodation within 56 days. For example, if you have a court order or legal notice from your landlord requiring you to leave your home;
  • you have somewhere to live but are unable to get into the property;
  • it is unreasonable for you to continue to live in your home.

Do you have a priority need?

You have a priority need if you or a member of your family:

  • are pregnant;
  • have dependant children under the age of 16 (or 19 if in full time education);
  • are vulnerable for a particular reason e.g.: a medical reason;
  • are homeless due to an emergency, such as fire or flood;
  • are homeless due to violence or the threat of violence, including domestic violence.

Are you intentionally homeless?

You may be considered intentionally homeless if you left secure accommodation that was reasonable for you to continue to live in without good reason. If this is the case, the council may decide not to offer you accommodation as a homeless person.

Do you have a local connection?

You have a local connection if:

  • you have lived in South Ribble for six of the last 12 months or 3 of the last 5 years;
  • you have close relatives living permanently in South Ribble;
  • you have permanent employment in the South Ribble area;
  • if you do not have a local connection to the South Ribble area you may be referred to an area where you have a connection, unless you will be at risk of violence in that area.

What if you do not agree with the council's decision?

If you are unhappy with the homelessness decision made by the council you can appeal. This must be done within 21 days of receiving the decision letter and your appeal should be addressed to the Housing Services Manager, South Ribble Borough Council.

What happens if you are homeless and in priority need?

As an emergency

We can provide you with somewhere to live temporarily - this could be a hostel, refuge or temporary flat. We only use bed and breakfast as a last resort. Sometimes to provide you with temporary accommodation we have to place you outside the South Ribble area.

To secure a home

You must complete a housing application form to go on the councils housing register using Select Move for permanent housing. There may be circumstances that prevent households from accessing the housing register so we also work with private sector landlords to try and secure permanent accommodation. You have the right to appeal to the council if you think an offer is unsuitable for you.

What happens if you have a priority need but are intentionally homeless?

The council may provide you with somewhere to live for a short time if a property is available. This would be for a maximum of 28 days, whilst you find your own accommodation. The council's housing options officers will give you help and advice on this.

What to do next?

If you are homeless tonight or will be homeless in the next 56 days:

  • make an appointment with us by ringing 01772 625 625;
  • or call at the Civic Centre where someone is available until 4pm;
  • if you prefer you can leave a message by email to housing@southribble.gov.uk and we will ring you back;
  • in some instances home visits can be arranged for those with mobility problems.

For our out of hours service you need to contact Progress Group on 01772 436756.

At your appointment or interview Someone will take your details and assess your circumstances.

To assist us in giving you a good service we ask you to:

  • bring proof of ID, income, and child benefit if you have children;
  • give us as much information as possible as soon as possible;
  • attend appointments on time;
  • tell us about any changes in your circumstances.