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Homeless advice

This information is for anyone who may be threatened with homelessness or is homeless.

Advice is available from:

The sooner you seek advice the more chance there is of preventing your homelessness.

Our duties

If you are threatened with homelessness we will interview you and make an initial assessment on the day of your application or the next working day if outside working hours.

Housing Options

Housing Options provides a one stop service for local people, providing housing related advice and help to prevent homelessness. If you are experiencing difficulties with any of the following please contact us and we will do our best to help you:

  • your landlord has asked you to leave
  • you are not getting on with the people you live with
  • you cannot afford your mortgage, rent and/or bills or have other problems managing your tenancy or accommodation
  • you are currently homeless
  • your accommodation is not suitable as it is too small or in poor condition
  • your accommodation is not suitable because of a medical condition or disability
  • you are experiencing or at risk of violence, abuse or harassment

Accommodation under the homelessness legislation

You are homeless if you have no accommodation available in the United Kingdom or elsewhere this means:

  • you have no accommodation you are legally entitled to occupy
  • you have accommodation but it is not reasonable for you to continue to occupy it
  • you could be threatened with homelessness if your landlord gives you Notice to Quit or your parents tell you to leave

Under new legislation called the Homeless Reduction Act 2017 we will assess your situation and anyone homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days will be provided with a personal housing plan. This will be a working document between you and the Council with the aim of preventing or relieving your homelessness.

Most people will be eligible for assistance unless they are subject to immigration controls.

Priority need

You are in priority need if any of the following apply:

  • you have dependant children or are expecting a child
  • you are vulnerable as a result of old age, mental health, physical disability or handicap
  • you are 16 or 17 years of age
  • you have no accommodation as a result of an emergency, such as fire or flood
  • you are vulnerable due to being institutionalised following periods in the armed Forces, being in prison or as a result of being looked after, accommodated or fostered
  • you are under 21 and were fostered, looked after or accommodated by Children Services between the ages of 16 and 18
  • vulnerable as a result of violence, or threats of violence, which means that it is unreasonable to remain in your home

If you are intentionally homeless

You are intentionally homeless if any of the following apply:

  • you have deliberately done, or failed to do, something and as a result are no longer entitled to occupy accommodation
  • you have abandoned a property or deliberately not paid the rent or mortgage

Local connection with South Lakeland

If you do not have a local connection with South Lakeland, another local authority may have a duty to provide accommodation.

Local connections include:

  • working in the area
  • living in the area for the last six months or three out of the last five years
  • having close relatives living in South Lakeland for a minimum of the last five years

Decision

An initial decision will be made as to whether you are threatened with homelessness within 56 days and owed a 'prevention' duty or you are homeless and owed a 'relief' duty.  The duty owed and the action required will vary dependent on the circumstances.

If you disagree with our decision you can request a review. Details are provided with a decision letter.

Advice and information

We provide advice and information to assist homeless people free of charge and attempt to prevent homelessness wherever possible.

Housing officers can provide advice and assistance in the following areas:

  • security of tenure
  • homelessness
  • housing allocations
  • alternative housing options
  • domestic violence, relationship breakdown and housing options
  • harassment and unlawful eviction
  • referral and sign-posting to other agencies
  • mortgage and rent arrears

Accommodation

Everyone who is in housing need is encouraged to complete an application form for Cumbria Choice. Properties are allocated according to the Cumbria wide allocation policy.

Due to high demand for Social Housing, most families accepted as homeless are likely to be provided with temporary accommodation until a permanent home is available.