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We've issued an updated statement following the incident in Birstall on Monday. If anyone has any housing issues following the incident, please contact Housing Needs on 01509 634567.

Homelessness

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If you apply to us as homeless, we have a legal obligation (or duty) to help you to secure suitable accommodation if all of the following criteria apply:

  1. You are eligible for assistance - this depends on your nationality, immigration status, employment status, and whether you are 'habitually resident' in the UK. 
  2. You are homeless or threatened with homelessness - By law, you are homeless if you do not have a home in which you have a right to live or you have a home but it is not reasonable for you to continue living in it.
  3. You have a priority need - By law, you have a priority need if one of the following circumstances applies to you:
  • Homeless as a result of an emergency such as flood, fire or other disaster
  • You are, or a member of your household is, a pregnant woman
  • You have dependent children who live with you or may reasonably be expected to live with you
  • You are aged 16 or 17 years old and are not owed an accommodation duty by Social Services under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989
  • You are a care leaver under the age of 21 years who was looked after, fostered or accommodated by Social Services at any time between the ages of 16 and 18 years 
  • You are vulnerable as a result of being looked after, fostered or accommodated by Social Services and are over the age of 21 years
  • You are vulnerable as a result of old age, mental illness, physical disability or other special reason
  • You are vulnerable as a result of having been a member of Her Majesty's armed forces
  • You are vulnerable as a result of having been in custody
  • You are vulnerable as a result of ceasing to occupy accommodation due to violence or any other special reason

  4. You did not become homeless intentionally - If you are homeless because of something you deliberately did, or deliberately failed to do, you may be regarded as having become homeless intentionally.

Examples of becoming homeless intentionally are not paying rent when you could have  or giving up your home when it was reasonable for you to live there.

  5. You have a local connection to Charnwood - through  one of the following:

  • You have lived in Charnwood for at least six months in the last 12 months OR at least three years in the last five years
  • You have employment in Charnwood
  • You have close relatives living in Charnwood for at least five years
  • You have other special circumstances


Duty to find you a home

If you meet all of the five criteria set out above, we have a legal duty to help you secure suitable accommodation - this may be an offer of a tenancy for a council property, a Housing Association property, or a private rental property.   

If you meet the first four criteria set out above but have no local connection to Charnwood, we may refer you to a council where you do have a local connection so that they can help you secure suitable accommodation.   

If you feel that we have wrongfully assessed your homelessness application, you may appeal against the decision.


Advice

Contact our Housing Needs team for general advice and assistance about your housing problems and the housing options that are available to you. 

Independent advice is also available from The Bridge housing advice service and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

You may also wish to seek independent legal advice.

If you or someone in your household is homeless or is likely to become homeless, we will provide support and assistance to you. As part of this we will share your personal information (including your name and date of birth) with the Department for Communities and Local Government. This information will be used for research purposes to help support other indivduals and housholds in the future. 

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