A Guide for Homeless Applicants
See Contact Details for Homelessness including outside of office hours
When you contact us for assistance we will talk to you about your individual circumstances. Nonetheless decisions regarding homelessness are governed by legislation outlined in Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 and the Homelessness Act 2002. It is these two Acts, which determine how Local Authorities must deal with homeless applications.
In accordance with this legislation when you apply to the Housing Division as homeless, the Council has legal duty to consider the facts in your individual circumstances against the following framework (see below for more detail) before making a final decision on what duty it has towards you:
Are you eligible for assistance?
Are you homeless or threatened with homelessness within 28 days?
Are you in 'priority need' as defined by the Homelessness Act 2002?
Are you homeless intentionally?
Do you have a local connection to the North Warwickshire area?
In order to answer these questions the Council has a legal duty to make reasonable inquiries to establish the facts of your homeless application. The initial inquiries will be made by talking to you and asking you provide factual information about your circumstances. There is an expectation that you will co-operate with these inquiries. If you don't we will not be able to assist you. It could also mean having access to personal information held by other agencies. We will ask your permission before we contact other agencies.
How we define homelessness
Whether an applicant is homeless will be assessed in accordance with current legislation on homelessness. In general a person is assessed as being homeless if:
- They have no accommodation available for their occupation in the United Kingdom, or elsewhere, which they are entitled to occupy
- It would be unreasonable for them to continue to occupy the accommodation
- They are threatened with homelessness within 28 days
Enquiries will be made to ascertain the reasons for homelessness and there will be verification checks about current circumstances.
In some cases in addition to this initial test the legislation also requires a Local Authority to assess whether an applicant is in priority need and to investigate whether they have acted in such a way to make themselves intentionally homeless.
Reasonable preference will be given to homeless applicants within the Allocations Policy and regard will be had to the Homelessness Legislation in deciding on an applicant's priority.