What happens when you ask for advice on your housing options or homelessness?
We can help if you are homeless or worried about losing your home. Tewkesbury Borough Council is committed to preventing homelessness wherever possible. It is important that you contact us as soon as you are worried that you may become homeless so that we can look at your options and help you resolve your housing problems before your situation reaches crisis
Housing options is housing advice tailored to your situation and possibly financial assistance which would help you avoid homeless crisis. This includes advice on your rights in your current home, and what assistance will be available to remain in your home if it is reasonable and suitable for you to remain there. If this is not possible options will be given advice on what assistance is available to help you source suitable alternative accommodation which suits the needs of your household.
Housing Options will enable you to find/stay in accommodation in an area where you want to live, in a property type of your choice, close to support networks, schools etc.
Every local authority should help homeless people in the same way. The rules are set out in the Housing Act 1996 Part VII (as amended). Our customer booklet outlining statutory homeless duties provides details of the help we can offer in Tewkesbury Borough.
When should I see a Housing Officer?
If you have been asked to leave where you currently live, and you have no other accommodation available to you or you do not think it is reasonable for you to live in your home (for example if you are experiencing abuse).
What should I bring with me?
You will need to bring the following documents:
- Proof of identification for you and every other member of your household such as a passport or driving licence.
- Birth certificates for you and every other member of your household.
- Home Office documents (if you are a person from abroad).
- A Notice To Quit from your landlord or similar notice from friend or family member.
- Proof of income and benefit Support, JSA or similar (if you are receiving benefits).
- Documentation of any medical issues which affect your housing need.
- Any other information relevant to your application.
What happens when I ask for housing help?
- We will ask you a number of questions about your situation, including questions about you (and your household) and about your current accommodation.
- We will take photocopies of all the documents you have supplied.
- You may be asked to obtain and bring back any missing documents (if you can reasonably do so) before they are able to conduct a full interview.
We will need to establish the following details
- That you are homeless or threatened with homelessness.
- That you do not have the means to resolve your housing difficulties.
- That you are eligible for assistance.
- Any medical needs you may have which affect your housing.
An assessment of your situation will be made, and if you need a further in depth interview to discuss your rights and options, you will be offered an appointment. If you are roofless or likely to be roofless imminently, we will offer you an appointment on the day you approach us. If your situation is less urgent, we will offer you an appointment at a later date.
At your appointment
The Housing Officer will take an in depth application from you for assistance through Homelessness Prevention and/or for Homeless assistance. You will also be given in depth advice about your rights in your current home and any assistance Tewkesbury Borough Council can offer.
At the end of the interview, you should be clear about advice you have been given, and who will be working with you to resolve your situation, and what action you need to undertake. You will be also given a written copy of advice tailored to your housing needs at the end of your interview with the contact details and name of the housing officer who will be working you.
We can offer financial assistance to households facing homelessness. Options to remain in your current home will be discussed with you, if appropriate, during your interview.
If you cannot remain in your current home we will offer you advice on finding alternative accommodation.
Households threatened with homelessness may be offered Rent in Advance to secure suitable private rented accommodation if they are on benefits or qualify for HB and do not have the financial means to resolve their housing difficulties.
We may be able to offer a deposit loan to assist you securing a suitable private rented property. Your housing officer will discuss this with you. If we are unable to assist with a deposit loan we will explore other possible funds to access a home in the private rented sector such as the welfare reform fund.
Independent housing advice
Our homelessness service is available during office hours. For emergency homeless out of hours assistance telephone: 01452 614194.
You can also seek independent advice on your housing issues from:
Citizens Advice Bureau
Confidential, impartial and independent advice on issues including housing, debt, welfare benefits and other legal issues.
The Citizens Advice Bureau offer drop-ins at Tewkesbury Borough Council Offices. Drop in times:
- Mondays, 12 noon - 2pm
- Tuesdays, 10 am - 12 noon
- Thursdays, 10 am - 12 noon
Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Service (GDASS)
Free confidential advice, support and information on domestic abuse.
Offers emergency overnight accommodation in the homes of volunteer hosts for young single people aged between 16-25.
- Tel: 01452 331330
- Web: www.gloucestershirenightstop.org.uk
Offer help to: set up home for the first time, maintain current accommodation, explore alternatives for moving, connect with networks and activities in the local community, access education, training and work, budget and pay bills, claim welfare benefits.
Alternatively, residents can attend a Greensquare drop-in at Priors Park Neighbourhood Project (Jubilee 2) every Wednesday between 12:00 -14:00.
- Tel: 01452 726951
- Web: www.greensquaregroup.com/housing
Assertive outreach supporting homeless people.
P3 single homeless direct referral hostel
- Tel: 01242 236081 (Cheltenham)
- Tel: 08081 786003 (Gloucester)
Independent housing information and advice.
- Tel: 0808 169 6839 (national help line)
- Web: england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice
Other useful contacts
Adult care helpdesk
Social care assistance for vulnerable people.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tel: 01452 426868
Children and families helpdesk
Social care assistance for children and families.
- Email: email@example.com
- Tel: 01452 426565 | 01452 328250 (Tewkesbury offices)
Advice and assistance to claim benefits for rent and council tax.
Job Centre Plus
Advice on seeking work and assistance to claim benefits for living costs. Telephone: 01684 616010.
Youth Support Team
Provides support for young people aged 10-19 years old (up to 25 if you have learning difficulties or a disability). Telephone: 01684 298291.