Borough Council of Wellingborough

Homelessness

It's important that you contact us for help and advice as soon as possible. If you are already homeless or about to become homeless, you can get advice immediately on 01933 229777, Option 3.

Are you worried about becoming homeless?

If you're homeless or at risk of becoming homeless we urge you to contact our Housing Options Team for help. Our team of experienced officers can provide you with advice and assistance to resolve your housing issue whether that is to help you to remain in your current accommodation or assist you to find a suitable alternative

New legal duties from April 2018

From April 2018, the amount of support and assistance we can provide to individuals and households who are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness will increase due to new legislation called the Homelessness Reduction Act.

This legislation changes the way Homelessness Services are run and how applications are assessed across the country. The new legislation adds several new legal duties which all housing authorities must implement.

Duty to prevent homelessness

Where we have determined that a person / household is legally threatened with homelessness in the next 56 days and eligible for assistance according to the Housing Act 1996 we will work with you to prevent you from becoming homeless.

Once you've been assessed you will receive a legal decision notice to explain that you're now being helped under a Prevention Duty. You will also be provided with a further notice when that duty is brought to an end or discharged and you have the right to request a review of any duty decisions made throughout the process. If we're unable to resolve your housing issue before you become homeless, you will pass into the Relief Duty and a further letter explaining this process will be given to you which is also subject to a review if you request it.

Duty to relieve homelessness

This duty is for people / households who have already become homeless or it can come after a period of prevention has been attempted but was not successful. We will again work with you for a period of
56 days to resolve your housing issue.

If we have a reason to believe you would be within a Priority Need category you will be provided with an offer of emergency accommodation but we cannot guarantee this offer will always be within the Wellingborough area or in your current locality but we will of course take your needs into account.

If we're unable to prevent or relieve your homelessness the Housing Options Team will assess if the main housing duty is owed to you. The main housing duty is owed to individuals / households who are assessed to be in priority need and have not made themselves homelessness intentionally as determined by the Housing Act 1996 (Part VII). If you are owed this duty any accommodation provided to you under the Relief duty will continue.

Personalised Housing Plans

With both of the new main duties above, the Homelessness Reduction Act requires the Housing Options Team to provide you with a Personalised Housing Plan. This plan, along with the Housing Advice letter which will come along with it, will provide information on our assessment of your household, your circumstances and any support needs that you may have.

It is also designed to be a tool for resolving your housing situation. During your discussions with your dedicated Housing Options Officer you will discuss and agree a list of actions tailored to your situation which both you and the Officer will take to prevent or relieve your homelessness.

To arrange an appointment to discuss your Housing Options, please complete a Housing Jigsaw assessment form.

Are you already homeless?

If you have nowhere to sleep tonight you can contact us:

  • Call us on 01933 229777, option 3, option 2
  • Visit our council offices at Tithe Barn Office, Tithe Barn Road, Wellingborough, NN8 1BN
  • Complete housing assessment on Housing Jigsaw

We are open 8.30 am - 5pm Monday to Wednesday, 9.30am - 5pm on Thursday and 8.30am - 4.30pm on Friday, during which time there will be an emergency duty officer who will be able to assist you.

We will be able to help you more efficiently if you are able to bring some documents with you such as Photo ID, proof of any income or benefits and any evidence as to why you are homeless (notice from Landlord).

They will also advise whether the Council has a legal duty to provide you with emergency accommodation. In order to do this you must satisfy five qualifying criteria.

The criteria are as follows:

  1. Are you eligible for assistance?
  2. Are you homeless?
  3. Are you in priority need?
  4. Are you intentionally homeless?
  5. Do you have a local connection?

Are you concerned about someone who is sleeping rough?

If you are a member of the public who is concerned about someone sleeping rough you can report it via Street Link. It is a national service that will securely pass the information on to the relevant Local Authority.

Duty to Refer

From 1st October 2018, certain public authorities must notify a local housing authority in England where one of its service users:

  • May be homeless or at risk of homelessness, and
  • Consents to the referral

The following are public authorities with a duty to refer:

  • prisons (public and contracted out)
  • youth offender institutions and youth offending teams
  • secure training centres (public and contracted out) and colleges
  • probation services (community rehabilitation companies and national probation service)
  • jobcentre plus
  • accident and emergency services provided in a hospital
  • urgent treatment centres, and hospitals in their capacity of providing in-patient treatment
  • social service authorities.

If you have the person's consent to refer them to us for housing advice you can do it here on ALERT.

The following links will provide support and information on how to do this

Severe weather emergency protocol (SWEP)

Severe weather emergency protocol (SWEP) aims to get rough sleepers off the streets during periods of below zero night-time temperatures. The trigger for SWEP is when the night time temperature is predicted to be zero degrees or below for three consecutive nights. The policy can be found here for SWEP.