- Making a homeless referral
- Preventing homelessness
- South Nottinghamshire Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy
Being homeless does not necessarily mean living on the streets. You may be homeless if:
- You are temporarily staying with friends or family
- You are staying in a hostel or a hotel
- You are at risk of violence or abuse in your home - further information on the support available for victims of domestic abuse
- You are living in very overcrowded conditions
- You are living somewhere which you can’t afford to pay for without depriving yourself of basic essentials.
If you are going to become homeless you should contact us for advice as soon as possible or alternatively visit the Rushcliffe Community Contact Centre. We will need to interview you in person at the Contact Centre before we can consider whether you are homeless but it is always best to phone in advance for an appointment to avoid long waiting times.
You can also find out more about different housing options that may be suitable for you by completing our interactive Housing options wizard. You can save your results and print off a personalised action plan.
Depending on your circumstances, we may have a duty to provide you with emergency accommodation whilst they investigate your case. However, this does not apply to everyone who is homeless, and there is no guarantee that we will offer you a place to stay that night. You should also explore other options, such as staying with friends or family.
If we do not have a duty to provide you with emergency accommodation then we may be able to refer you to other emergency accommodation but, again, it is not guaranteed you will get a bed for the night.
When the weather is very cold (below zero degrees Celsius overnight), we will provide emergency overnight accommodation for anyone sleeping rough, whether or not we have a duty to accommodate them. We will then interview them to provide advice about their options for more permanent housing.
There is not enough social housing in Rushcliffe for everyone who needs it, so we also place homeless households in private rented housing. We will try to find properties within the borough so far as possible, but the high cost of rents locally means this is not always possible. It may be that we can find you a property sooner in a neighbouring area. You can read our policy on private rented offers to find out more.
Make a Homelessness Referral (Duty to Refer)
This duty requires specified public authorities from 1 October 2018 to notify a Housing authority of service users they consider may be homeless or threatened with homelessness (it is likely they will become homeless within 56 days). The public authorities which are subject to the duty to refer are specified in the Homelessness (Review Procedure) Regulations 2018.
The public services included in the duty are:
- Young Offender Institutions & Youth Offending Teams
- Hospital Emergency Departments & inpatient care
- Jobcentre Plus
- Social Services Authorities
- Secretary of State for Defence
- Probation Services.
Before making a referral, a public authority must have consent to make the referral and consent from the individual that their contact details can be shared so that the housing authority can contact them.
Referrals can be made via email, along with any supporting and additional documentation to email@example.com
Prevention is better than cure
We always work to try to prevent people actually becoming homeless. The earlier you let us know about your housing problem the more we can do to help. Most homelessness is preventable, but only if early action is taken before the situation gets worse. We want to help you keep your home or find safe and secure accommodation that is the right choice for you.
How we prevent homelessness
The Housing Options Team prevents homelessness by:
- Checking notices – we ensure that if your landlord has served you with notice, it is a valid notice and the correct process is being followed.
- Liaising with landlords – we will contact your landlord to try to resolve any issues and where possible stop them from proceeding with eviction.
- Helping with benefits – we ensure that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to, and we can help you with Housing Benefit and Housing Benefit backdate claims. This can reduce your rent arrears and may mean you can stay in your home.
- Offering a mediation service – we may be able to refer you to a mediation service if a relative, friend, guardian or landlord is asking you to leave, to resolve your differences so that you can continue to live together.
- Helping you to access private rented sector housing – we may be able to assist by guaranteeing the deposit for private rented accommodation through our Deposit Guarantee Scheme. Normally private rented housing can be found quite quickly.
- Helping you to access social housing – we will help you to register for Homesearch and make sure you understand how to bid (unlike private rented, it can take months or years to access social rented housing, due to the small supply and large demand).
- Helping to resolve mortgage arrears and the threat of repossession – we will try to help you keep your home by liaising with your mortgage lender and assessing whether you qualify for the national Mortgage Rescue Scheme.
So, if you are threatened with homelessness, please contact us - there are many ways we can help you.
We also commission Broxtowe Youth Homelessness to work in Rushcliffe schools, so that young people can hear the facts about housing and leaving home from peer educators who have been homeless themselves.
The South Nottinghamshire Homelessness Partnership (Broxtowe Borough Council, Gedling Borough Council and Rushcliffe Borough Council) have worked together to develop a Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Strategy. The strategy aims to build on the priorities and progress made in the preceding strategy and enable us to respond to the new and emerging challenges that we face in tackling homelessness in South Nottinghamshire.
In accordance with the Homelessness Act 2002, all housing authorities must have in place a Homelessness Strategy based on a review of all forms of homelessness in their district and demonstrating how homelessness will be prevented and resolved. The Strategy must be renewed at least every 5 years.
This is also available in pdf format.
If you have any questions about the Strategy or need the documents in a different format, please email firstname.lastname@example.org