Housing Options

Last Updated: 3 April 2024

Housing Options is a service providing local people with housing related advice and help to prevent homelessness.

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.

If you are experiencing difficulties with any of the following please contact us and we will do our best to help you if:

  • your landlord has asked you to leave
  • you are not getting on with the people that 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 because it is too small or in poor condition
  • your accommodation is not suitable because of a medical condition or disability
  • you are experiencing or are at risk of violence, abuse or harassment

Available help

Housing Options can offer a range of solutions to help you stay in your accommodation, these may include:

  • providing help with your money
  • providing a mediation service
  • talking to your landlord/agent on your behalf
  • advising you of your rights and responsibilities
  • support with your tenancy

Where we cannot support you to remain in your accommodation, we may be able to help you access alternative accommodation, this could include:

  • emergency accommodation
  • social housing
  • private rented accommodation
  • supported accommodation

For further advice contact the Housing Options team using the details below or call the out of hours number on 01229 833 311. Charges may apply.

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

In line with 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.

Further information is available about the requirements for a local connection.

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


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.

For further advice contact the Housing Options team using the details below or call the out of hours number on 01229 833311.