Housing advice - People leaving hospital

This page outlines what you should do when leaving hospital if you expect to become homeless, are homeless already or have a home that will need adapting, and what the Council will do to help.

Before you leave hospital

If you expect to be homeless when you are discharged from hospital, you should tell the hospital nursing staff as soon as possible. They will ask the hospital discharge team to help if they can.

If you have a home already but it needs to be adapted, the hospital will refer you to the council team who are responsible for making an occupational health assessment and/or referrals to the Home Improvement Agency for a Disabled Facilities Grant.

If you will be homeless on your release from hospital the discharge team will refer you to the Housing Options team at the council.

What the Council will do

We will try to help you stay in your home. If this is not possible or you are already homeless, we will work with you to find a suitable home.

You will be invited to an appointment with a housing options officer who will assess your housing and support needs and agree a personal housing plan with you. This is a plan of the steps you will be expected to take to remain in your current home if you have one or find somewhere to live. It will also set out how the Council will support you and what other agencies you should engage with to help you find and sustain a home.

There are a number of ways that we may help, such as referring you to refuge or hostel accommodation or lending you the deposit for a home in the private rented sector. You will be advised on making an application to the Housing Register on the HomeOption website if you have not already done so.

We will also assess whether you have a priority need under the terms of the Housing Act 1996. Some households such as those that include dependent children or a pregnant woman will automatically be in priority need. If this is not the case we will look at whether you are in priority need due to being vulnerable.

In doing so, we will take account of all relevant factors that might contribute to you being significantly more vulnerable than an ordinary person would be if made homeless.

We will take into consideration:

  • any mental or physical health problem;
  • drug and/or alcohol issues;
  • the impact of any time you have spent in care or the armed forces;
  • other factors that might limit your ability to find and sustain accommodation;
  • any support you are getting from either formal or informal sources.

Additionally, we may investigate whether you have a local connection. To have a connection to East Herts you must:

  • have lived in the district for six out of the last 12 months or three out of the last five years, by choice; or
  • work in the district; or
  • have a close family member that lives in the district and has done do for at least five years; or
  • have another special reason for needing to live in East Herts

If you become homeless

If you do not have a local connection, we will usually refer you to a local authority to which you do have a connection.

If you are not in priority need, the council will not have a duty to provide you with temporary accommodation. In these circumstances, we will continue to work with you for up to 56 days to help you to find somewhere to live.

If we decide that you are in priority need and have a local connection you will be provided with temporary accommodation for up to 56 days. During this time we will continue to work with you to find a more permanent home. We will also look at the circumstances that caused you to become homeless and make a decision on whether you are intentionally homeless.

If you are in priority need and not intentionally homeless, the council will continue to provide you with temporary accommodation until we are able to offer you more permanent accommodation either in the private rented sector or in social housing.

For further information and help, please see our Independent advice and debt agencies page