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Risk of Homelessness or Homeless

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, please contact the Housing Options Service us as soon as possible..

Housing Options

The Housing Options Team are here to provide free information, assistance and specialist advice to landlords, tenants and owner occupiers to help keep you in your home or to help you find an alternative.

Preventing homelessness

There are lots of different services to support you- if you are struggling to stay in your current home you should contact us as soon as possible.  If you can't stay in your home, you should contact us and we may be able to help you.

The Homelessness Reduction Act came into effect on 3 April 2018.  The Act adds two new duties for the council:

  • Duty to take steps to prevent homelessness:East Herts Council will have to help people at risk of losing suitable accommodation as soon as they are threatened with homelessness within 56 days and if you are struggling to find somewhere else to live, or in other circumstances where you are likely to become homeless.
  • Duty to take steps to relieve homelessness: The council must help all eligible households who are likely to become homeless to find suitable accommodation. We are here to help, but it does not mean that the council is required to provide a home for everyone.

In both cases we will work with you to agree a Housing Support Plan; that is a plan of actions for you and/or the council to take, which will help prevent you becoming homeless and/or help you find a new home.  

Homeless applications

The council will make its decision for whether you are owed the full housing duty at the end of the relief stage if your homelessness has not been resolved.

The Homelessness service is an emergency service, and we have a duty to help only those people who meet strict criteria. However, we will always try to help you to avoid becoming homeless in the first instance.  If you make a homelessness application the process will involve an interview, investigation and decision.

Emergency and temporary accommodation

If we cannot prevent you from becoming homeless, we may provide temporary accommodation. This could, in emergencies, be bed and breakfast accommodation, or it could be accommodation, reserved for use by homeless families. The type depends on demand at the time of homelessness, and where there is a vacancy. You will need to pay a weekly charge whist occupying the accommodation. You will be advised of the amount before you move into the accommodation.

Being provided with temporary accommodation is not a guarantee that permanent council or housing association accommodation will be offered. You are expected to look for your own accommodation, as well as registering on the list for social housing.

Outside office hours

In an emergency homeless situation, out of office hours, you should contact 01279 655261 and an answer phone message will direct you as to how to contact the emergency out of hours service for housing assistance. The out of hour's service should only be used in a real emergency that cannot wait until the office re-opens.

Independent advice

You can get independent advice from:

Homelessness statistics

Following the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act  the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is conducting research to find out more about what causes homelessness and how well homelessness services meet peoples' needs. To understand how your personal information will be used for this research, or to opt out, please read the following:

To see homelessness statistics for East Herts and other local authorities in England, please visit the Ministry of Housing, Communities and  Local Government website.  

The Homeless and Homeless Prevention Strategy 2013 - 2018

Under the Homelessness Act 2002 all local authorities are required to carry out a homeless review and to develop and publish a strategy based on the review every five years.

Our Strategy for 2013 - 2018 will set out our key aims and priorities in relation to preventing homelessness and ensuring that clients have a range of housing options available to them. The aim is to make the prevention of homelessness a central activity. This means that we need to focus on helping clients to find the best solution to their housing problems before they become homeless:

The aims and objectives of the Strategy will be delivered, with our partner agencies, through the Action Plan:

Homeless Strategy Action Plan 2013 - 18 [258KB]

The Strategy is for a five year period but will be reviewed annually.

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