Homelessness takes many different forms and can be a really worrying time for those involved. At Wychavon District Council we consider homelessness a priority and will support you if this is happening to you.
Check the Service Standards which outlines what you can expect from us, when dealing with our Housing Needs Team.
The following pages will give you an idea of the support we can provide and what options may be open to you.
If you need to contact us out of hours in an emergency, you can contact us using the details on our Out Of Hours Emergency Hotline page.
The Housing Options Team consists of a team of Housing Advisors who provide a free and accessible Housing Advice service for anyone who is worried about becoming homeless or is homeless already. There are also national organisations such as Shelter and NHAS who can provide generic advice on homelessness.
Duty to refer
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 stipulated that specified public bodies must refer people to the Local Authority who they believe to be homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days. These organisations include:
- 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.
The Ministry of Defence is also subject to the duty to refer in relation to members of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the regular army and the Royal Air Force.
At Wychavon District Council, we use ALERT which is a tool for specified public bodies and wider partner agencies to make referrals or notify us about people they believe to be homeless.
Agencies can make their referral in five easy steps:
1.Sign up to ALERT
2.Enter details of the agency
3.Provide details of the household being referred
4.Complete a consent to share declaration
Once submitted, the referring agency will receive confirmation that the referral has been sent, along with a unique referral code. Where appropriate a copy of the referral can also be sent to the person threatened with homelessness or already homeless for their reference. Once a referral has been made, a user account for the referee is automatically created. This makes it simple and easier to make future referrals and enables the user to track their referral online and receive update notifications. This service is completely free of charge.
We invite specified public bodies and wider partner agencies to make referrals to the Local Authority as soon as possible. Wychavon District Council prioritises early intervention and prevention and will look to support customer to remain in existing accommodation or source alternative accommodation options.