If You're Facing Homelessness
How We Can Help
If you are worried that you may become homeless, we will help you to:
- Understand your legal rights
- Stay in your current home by offering help with benefits and debt advice
- Negotiate with your landlord to help you stay
- Understand how you may be able to secure accommodation in the private rented sector
- Apply for social housing if you are eligible
- Find short stay emergency accommodation (in very exceptional circumstances)
If you have received an eviction notice or have been asked to leave your current accommodation please complete the online 'homeless contact form' . A homeless officer will then be in contact within 5 working days.
If however, you are homeless tonight i.e. have no accommodation available to you via friends or family and meet any of the below criteria, please contact us on 01702 215002, Monday to Thur 09.00am to 5pm, Friday 09:00am to 4.45pm.
Have dependant children in your care
You are a care leaver under the age of 21
You are currently pregnant
You are 16-17 years old
You are fleeing domestic abuse
You are homeless due to flood, fire or other disaster
You are vulnerable as a result of old age, chronic and enduring mental illness, learning disability or physical disability.
Our priority is to prevent you from becoming homeless in the first place, by negotiating with your landlord to help you stay in your current property or helping you quickly find other accommodation generally in the private rented sector if that is not possible.
The following organisations can help you if you are already or about to be homeless, sleeping rough or need legal advice:
Shelter are the UK's homeless and housing charity and offer a wide range of help and advice
Southend-on-Sea Citizens Advice Bureau offer legal advice to those facing homelessness
Being threatened with homelessness can sometimes be unavoidable, however the following steps could help maintain your tenenacy:
- If you have a landlord, you should keep in contact with your landlord even if you are in rent arrears. You may be able to agree an arrangement for clearing the arrears, financial assistance may be available through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit payments, or a Discretionary Housing Payment may help you clear your rent arrears
- Avoid involvement in anti-social behaviour, not only is it a common reason for eviction; being responsible for anti-social behaviour can also prevent entry onto the Housing Register for social housing. Examples of anti-social behaviours, as well as advice on how to report issues that arise can be found here
- Ensuring that you keep to the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement
- If you are facing homelessness due to a relationship breakdown, it is important to seek legal advice on your rights to remain in the property. Holding a valid tenancy or legally being a homeowner will limit the assistance that can be offered. It is important to come to a reasonable compromise between both parties to allow sufficient time that is required in finding a new property before moving out.