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Homelessness

If you are homeless or at risk or becoming homeless, you need to complete our housing options assessment form. We will then contact you to discuss your housing options. If you are homeless tonight, contact us by completing the form as soon as possible.

Start now - step 1

Other help

  • If you experience problems with the condition of the accommodation you rent from a private landlord, such as disrepair or overcrowding, you can find further advice on our Renting in the private sector web page. 
  • If you are at risk of violence or abuse by someone you live with, there is help available on our Domestic violence support page.

You may be able to avoid becoming homeless if you act quickly. However, there is a long wait for social housing. If you need somewhere to live very soon you must look at other options, particularly privately rented accommodation.

If you are successful in finding a suitable home we may be able to offer some financial assistance such as a  Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

You will need to show you have been unable to secure the money to move into the new property (for example rent in advance, or a deposit). 

Helping someone else

If you've seen somebody sleeping rough, you can report a rough sleeper (Street Link) 

The ways we can help prevent you from becoming homeless include:

  • Resolve issues in a private sector tenancy;
  • Negotiate with your family and/ or  friends to allow you to remain in your current home;
  • Advising you on how to look for somewhere else to live;
  • Refer you to specialist services who can support any other needs you may have;
  • Providing you with emergency accommodation.

We have legal duties to provide accommodation to some homeless people, but not to everyone. When you approach our services for help, we will assess your circumstances to decide if we owe you one of the duties listed below, and will advise you how we may be able to stop you from becoming homelessness. You will be allocated a named housing options caseworker from the Housing Needs team who will discuss your housing options with you.

Detailed enquiries concerning your housing situation will be conducted by your Housing Options Officer to confirm eligibility and threat of homelessness. We will also undertake checks with partner agencies as necessary including social services, NHS, DWP, the Police and Probation services. For us to investigate your housing circumstances and provide you with correct advice and assistance, we need you to provide as much information as possible, including the following documents: 

  • Proof of identity for every member of your household including children;
  • Proof of parental responsibility for any children in the household;
  • Proof of income including recent wage slips, benefit award letters and bank statements;
  • The 5 year address history for all household members;
  • Proof of medical conditions, prescriptions or additional supporting information for all household members;
  • Details of any criminal record you and any other adult member of your household may have.

The following tab describe the tests that will be applied when you first approach us for help.

You will usually be eligible for help if you:

  • Live in the UK, are a British citizen and haven't recently spent time living in other countries;
  • Have refugee status or indefinite leave to remain in the UK;
  • Are a citizen of the European Union who is a worker in the UK.

Some other people from abroad are also eligible for help, depending on their circumstances. We look at the eligibility of all the people in a homeless application. 

We may consider you homeless if:

  • You are at risk of homelessness in the next 56 days;
  • You have no home in the UK, or anywhere else in the world, where you can live together with your immediate family;
  • The property you live in is no longer suitable or safe for you.

Once this is determined you will be notified in writing of either of the following duties that may be owed to you:

Prevention

The Housing Needs team will take reasonable steps to prevent homelessness for any eligible person, at risk of homelessness within 56 days, regardless of priority need. This means we will help you to stay in your current home, or assist you to find a new place to live. You will also be required to take steps towards resolving your threat of homelessness.

 

Relief

The Housing Needs team will take reasonable steps to help you secure suitable alternative accommodation. Help could be, for example, providing a loan for rent in advance or referring you to supporting accommodation. You will also be required to take steps to look for alternative accommodation. 

As part of the statutory duty to prevent or relieve homelessness, a personalised < housing plan will be produced by working collaboratively with you.

The personalised housing plan will contain reasonable steps for you to take in order to prevent or relieve your homelessness. You will be issued with a notification to confirm what duty if any is owed, and further notifications will be issued during the assessment or when the duty ends. The notifications will outline the reasons that have brought the duty to an end.

If we are unable to prevent or relieve you from becoming homeless, the following tests will be thoroughly investigated before we make a decision on what, if any, final duties we may owe you.

We will look into your circumstances to decide if,  according to law, you are in priority need. This will affect whether or not we provide you with emergency accommodation. You will normally be in priority need if you or one of the people included in your application is in one of the following categories:

  • Pregnant women (and people who live with them);
  • People who are responsible for dependent children;
  • People made homeless by fire, flood or other disaster;
  • Some people aged 16 or 17;
  • Some care leavers;
  • Other people who are particularly vulnerable.

We must also assess whether you are 'intentionally homeless'. We may consider you intentionally homeless if you have lost accommodation because of something that you did, or failed to do, which led to you becoming homeless.

This could include, but is not limited to:

  • Not paying your rent or mortgage;
  • Being evicted due to anti-social behaviour;
  • Leaving accommodation where you could have remained. 

Eastbourne and Lewes councils are responsible for helping homeless people who are Eastbourne and Lewes district residents, or people who have applied to us for help because it is unsafe for them to live in the area where they usually live.

If we find that you do not have a local connection with our authorities, we may refer you to another council for help. We will not refer you to a borough where you would not be safe.

We will notify you in writing with a decision once we have completed our enquiries. This process will be quicker if you provide all the information that is required. You will be told which documents you need to bring to your assessment. If you do not bring them with you on the day of your appointment, this will delay the time it takes for a decision to be made.

If we accept we have a duty to help you, you will be notified in writing of the duty owed