If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness you should contact your Local Authority office. You will find your Local Authority Housing Office details on this website.
Local Authorities have a responsibility for investigating homelessness applications in accordance with the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002 and the Homeless Reduction Act 2017).
There are 2 initial questions, and 3 further questions, which an officer needs to consider at a later stage:
Your Housing Officer can explain the process and the meaning of the 5 questions, to enable you to supply the correct information.
Below are links to the relevant pages on the Homefinder Somerset partner authority websites regarding homelessness:
Local Authorities must assess and provide meaningful assistance to everyone who is homeless or threatened with homeless, regardless of any priority need.
If you make a homeless application to the Local Authority, you will be assessed and supported by the Housing Officer within the prevention stage (if you are threatened with homelessness) or in the relief stage (if you are actually homeless). You remain in either stage for up to 56 days.
Throughout your application the Housing Officer will agree reasonable steps with you to either help you remain in your property, or support you in seeking alternative, suitable accommodation (not necessarily social housing). The image below details the process:
As part of the Homeless Reduction Act 2017, the legislation dictates that anyone who may be eligible and homeless or threatened with homelessness, should have an interview with a Housing Officer and agree reasonable steps that create Your Personal Housing Plan.
A Personal Housing Plan is a series of reasonable steps (known as tasks) agreed between you and your Housing Officer to help you resolve your housing situation. The steps will include both actions for you and the Local Authority to complete within a time limit.
You can access the agreed tasks to action, by logging onto to Homefindersomerset.co.uk, and in your account, under My Personal Plan (see below), you can view, update and complete the tasks, as you make progress:
There is evidence to show that applicants who engage with their Housing officer and complete all their tasks in their Personal Housing Plan, get housed on average within 8 weeks. In addition, Homefinder Somerset offers preferential positioning on some shortlists, where applicants have complied with all their tasks.
Applicants within Taunton Deane, West Somerset and Mendip, will access via a different system. Please contact your Local Authority for details.