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Housing Assessments

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness and would like some advice on your Housing options visit our Housing Assessments team, based in the Basildon Centre

On 3rd April 2018, the Homelessness Reduction Act came into force, which changed the way that councils approach homelessness.

The new legal duties mean the council must: 

  • provide advice and carry out prevention work, so that where possible, people can be supported to remain in their current home;
  • offer everyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness access to help, irrespective of their priority need status, as long as they are eligible for assistance; and,
  • carry out prevention and relief work for anyone threatened with homelessness within 56 days (up from the current 28 days)

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness then you may wish to come to the Council to see the Housing Assessments service. The Housing Assessments service and provision of advice are available for all people, including those who are not eligible for further homelessness services as a result of their immigration status.

Eligibility

Many people from abroad are not eligible for housing assistance, such as those subject to immigration control and those who are not 'habitually resident' in the UK, Isle of Man, Channel Islands or Republic of Ireland.

Homeless or threatened with homelessness within the next 56 days

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days then please come in to see the Assessments team, who will provide advice and assistance.

It is important to note that if you have a legal right to live in your accommodation and it is reasonable for you to carry on living there, you are not considered homeless.

Priority Need

You may be considered as priority need if:

  • You or a member of your household is pregnant.
  • You have dependant children.
  • You or a member of your household is elderly or has a physical or mental disability or any other special needs.
  • You have become homeless because of an emergency like a fire or flood.
  • You would face violence if you remain in your home.
  • You have been a member of the Armed Forces for a considerable length of time.
  • You have been in custody for a considerable length of time.
  • If you are 16/17 years old and have not previously been accommodated by Social Services.
  • You have been accommodated by Social Services and are over 21.
  • You have other special circumstances.

Intentionally Homeless

Under the homeless law you are 'intentionally homeless' if you:

  • Deliberately gave up your home when you could have still lived there.
  • Deliberately did or failed to do something which you knew would cause you to lose your home; or
  • Entered into an arrangement that you knew would cause you to leave your home so that the Council could house you.

The Council does not have a main housing duty to those found intentionally homeless.

Local Connection

You may be considered to have a local connection if you:

  • Have previously lived in the Basildon area for at least six months in the last year or three in the past five years; or
  • Work in Basildon (casual work does not count); or
  • Have a close relative living in Basildon who has lived in the area for at least five years; or
  • Have any special circumstances.

If you do not have a local connection with Basildon but have one with another authority, we will ask that Council to help you on your behalf.

If we are satisfied that you are:

  • Eligible
  • Homeless

We will make you an appointment to see a Housing Solutions Officer who will work to relieve your homelessness.

Documentation needed

Please bring the following when you approach the Assessments and Housing Solutions services:

  • Full/birth certificates/or/passport for all household members: A copy can be obtained from the General Register Office
  • Child benefit letters: An award letter from the Child Benefit Agency is required.
  • Tenancy agreement: A Tenancy Agreement is required if you are currently privately renting to check your tenancy rights.
  • Income details: Details of income, benefits, savings, and any profit from the sale of any property.
  • Notices to Quit/Possession Orders/Bailiff's Warrant: If your landlord is seeking possession we will need these documents to determine your homelessness and whether or not your landlord has, in fact, served a Legal Notice.
  • Friends/Family: If you are living with friends or family, we will need confirmation from them regarding how long you have resided there and why you have to leave. A contact telephone number is also needed.
  • 3 months' bank statements
  • Addresses past 5 years: Details of any address that you have resided at during the last 5 years, dates and type of occupation (i.e. tenant/owner). Please ensure that you have this information available.
  • Medical Evidence  If you have a medical problem, evidence is required, i.e.
    • An award letter regarding your ESA or DLA
    • GP Prescription/certificate
    • Letter from GP (Please note that your GP may charge for this)
    • Medication

If you are fleeing domestic violence then the we accept that you may not have immediate access to any of the required documents.

If you have any problems in providing any of the documents please advise the Assessment Officer before your Housing Solutions interview.

Accommodation

Emergency Accommodation

If there is reason to believe you are eligible, homeless, and are in priority need then Basildon Council will provide emergency accommodation.

If you don't agree with a decision

If you do not agree with any decision made on your homeless application, you are legally entitled to review. For more information on your right to a review, please see the Review Procedure below.

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