Not everyone who is in housing need will be able to receive the same level of assistance for housing. When somebody approaches our service for help, we consider the following 5 points:
1. Are you eligible?
If you come from abroad, there are some circumstances which would mean you would not be eligible for assistance. This means we must ask you questions about your immigration status to establish whether you meet the legal requirements for assistance.
2. Are you homeless?
- You may be homeless if:
- you have nowhere to stay that night
- you have no legal right to stay where you are staying
- you have a home but are in fear of violence at that address
- you cannot live in the same home as the people with whom you normally live
3. Do you have a priority need?
The council only has a legal duty to secure accommodation for certain groups of people who are in ‘priority need’. In the case of many single people and childless couples, the council only has to give advice and assistance.
The Homeless Act 2002 states that certain people have a priority need for housing if they are homeless or threatened with homelessness. These include:
- people with dependent children
- pregnant women
- people made homeless by fire, flood or other emergency
- people who are vulnerable – these may include people who are vulnerable because of: their age, physical disability, mental illness, learning difficulties, fear of violence, leaving institutional care or prison
- priority need also applies to people who normally live with you or anyone else who we accept should reasonably be expected to live with you
4. Are you intentionally homeless?
You may be found intentionally homeless if you have done something or failed to do something which results in losing your accommodation. This can include causing a nuisance to neighbours, committing criminal acts in your home, failing to pay your rent, or voluntarily leaving a secure tenancy.
5. Do you have a local connection?
We will consider the following things to establish your local connection:
- are you normally resident in the Cheltenham Borough area, or have you been in the past?
- do you have a permanent job in the area?
- do you have close family in the Cheltenham Borough area, such as mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter?
- do you have special circumstances which make it necessary for you to live in the Cheltenham Borough area?
What if I do not meet all the above criteria?
Whatever your circumstances, the housing options team will still be able to provide you with advice and assistance.
If you are unhappy with any decision we have made on your application, you have the right to request a review of that decision within 21 days of the decision being made.
We believe that prevention is better than cure, and we will do all we can to prevent you from becoming homeless in the first place.
Contact us on 01242 775168, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at Cheltenham First Stop, 301-305 High Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL503HW