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Homelessness

If you are reading this page it is probably because you are homeless or know someone who is in danger of becoming homeless.

If your homelessness cannot be prevented we must carry out an interview to determine what level of assistance we have a duty to provide to you.

You must have a local connection to South Derbyshire.(Note: local connection rules do not apply if you are fleeing any form of violence, harassment or threats of violence. If you're not sure, ask).

You will be given an appointment to discuss your circumstances with a Homelessness Officer who will assess the following;

What to bring with you

Proof of identification  and that you are eligible for assistance

  • birth certificates,
  • passports,
  • driving licence
  • immigration or Home Office paperwork.

Proof of homelessness (one of the following)

  • notice to quit or eviction notice, repossession paperwork
  • a letter from people you are living or staying with asking you to leave
  • if your accommodation is linked to your employment a letter stating this or a tenancy agreement, or employment contract, along with details of why and when you must leave
  • if you are being or have been evicted for non-payment of rent or mortgages details of your income and expenditure
  • all correspondence regarding eviction and court proceedings papers if you are being or have been evicted for non-payment of rent or mortgage

Proof of your household

We will need proof of dependent children living with you or proof of pregnancy if you are pregnant. If you have any of the following you should bring them with you:

  • pregnancy certificate (proof of pregnancy notes and expected delivery date)
  • child benefit notification letter
  • care and control documents from court
  • birth certificates / passport

Proof of circumstance

  • medical letters from care professionals
  • proof of date of birth
  • proof of income, benefit, wage slips
  • proof of national insurance number
  • if there is police involvement, crime reference numbers and any relevant documents.

Proof of local connection (one of the following)

  • a contract of employment if you work in the district
  • proof and length of residency - household bills for example
  • details of family members in this area, names / addresses and length for time in the area

Please note that these are the main documents of proof but we may ask for more specific documents depending on the situation.

During this interview a homeless declaration may be completed and all relevant documents photocopied.

We are likely to need to contact other agencies such as your landlord, mortgage company, police, medical professionals etc as part of our enquiries. We will need your consent to do these checks.

All applicants will be asked to complete a housing application form for re-housing.

What do we investigate?

There are a number of steps which determine our duty to assist you. These are outlined in the leaflet 'Your Homeless Declaration What Happens Next?' which is available for download at the bottom of this page.

When will a decision be made?

We aim to make a decision based upon investigations around your circumstances within 33 days after the date of the declaration and we will send you a letter advising you of the outcome and a leaflet telling you how to request a review of that decision if you disagree with our findings.

Our decision

We will use the following guidelines when we assess your application:

  • Whether you are eligible for housing (i.e. do you have the right to reside in this country and receive state benefits.)
  • Whether or not you are homeless or threatened with homelessness within 33 days of your application.
  • Whether or not you and your family are in priority housing need. Priority is determined by whether a person or family is vulnerable if homeless. Some of the reasons include dependant children, pregnancy, old age, some forms of mental or physical disability etc.
  • Whether you are intentionally homeless. This will arise when you have or have deliberately done or failed to do something which has resulted in you becoming homeless.
  • Whether you have a local connection within South Derbyshire District. A local connection could be present or past long-term residency, close family living here, employment in the area or if it is unsafe for you in your own area.
  • If you have no local connection, but are assessed as homeless and in priority need you may be referred to a Council area where there is a connection unless it is unsafe for you there.

Temporary accommodation

In some circumstances, we may help you find temporary accommodation whilst a decision is being made or a property located. Temporary accommodation may be in a hostel, refuge, bed & breakfast or other accommodation.

Costs of temporary accommodation

The costs vary between providers and on the amount of support or services included. In most temporary accommodation you will be required to contribute or pay the costs. Housing Benefit can help with much of the cost if you are on benefits or a low income.

You will also find legal guidance on homelessness using the external links lower down this page.

How do I appeal?

If  you disagree with the decision and how it was reached, or you think we have not considered something which you believe we should have taken into account, then under certain circumstances, you have the right to ask us to look at that decision again.

You must ask for a review within 21 days of receiving our  written decision.  This must be in writing, addressed to the Housing Service Manager. Another more senior officer will then review your case.

We will write to confirm that we have received your letter of appeal.  At this point we may also request further documentation that may support your appeal.  If no additional documentation is required the appeal will take place using information already used or supplied.

For more information about making an appeal, you can download the leaflet 'Your right to a review of a homelessness decision' which is at the bottom of this page.

Further information

For independent advice and information please go to: http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice

Contact details

Housing Services
South Derbyshire District Council
Civic Offices
Civic Way
Swadlincote, Derbyshire
DE11 0AH

Tel: 01283 595804/595802
Emergency out of hours contact number (01629) 532600
Online: contact form
email: housing@south-derbys.gov.uk

Page ref: LGSL 103

Related documents

The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)

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