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
- 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.
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.