Homelessness Guide

What if I am homeless today?

Some applicants will qualify for emergency accommodation. We will only arrange this if we have reason to believe that you may:

  1. be homeless
  2. be eligible for assistance
  3. have a priority need.

Temporary Accommodation

There are Council hostels in Westcliff and Southend but where your temporary accommodation will be will depend on what is available.

You will have to pay something toward the cost of the accommodation, but you might qualify to claim Housing Benefit for this cost. Once we have found accommodation for you should claim for your benefit immediately.

Am I homeless?

You can be considered as homeless if:

  1. you have nowhere to live in the United Kingdom or anywhere else in the world
  2. you have a home but cannot return to it because you, or a member of your family would be at risk of violence
  3. you have a home but have been locked out and cannot get in
  4. You have received Notice from your Landlord to leave your current home
  5. you have a home but it is unreasonable for you to continue to live there
  6. your home is a moveable structure, for example a boat, a mobile home or a caravan and you have nowhere to put it legally.

Am I eligible for assistance?

If you are a person from abroad or a person subject to immigration control (within the meaning of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1999) you might not be entitled to any help with housing. The law is complicated and you should ask for advice.

Am I in priority need?

You might be in priority need if you:

  1. have dependent children or you or someone else in your household is pregnant
  2. are homeless as a result of a disaster such as a fire or flood
  3. are 16 or 17 years old (except people for whom Social Services have responsibility)
  4. are aged 18-20 and used to be in care (except students in full time education whose accommodation is not available outside term time).

The Council considers you are vulnerable as a result of:

  1. old age, mental illness or handicap, physical disability
  2. having a care background, having spent time in the armed forces or having served a prison sentence
  3. fleeing violence or threats of violence
  4. another special reason.

We will decide whether you are vulnerable by looking at your individual circumstances. If you are not in priority need then we will not have a duty to house you, but we will still offer you advice and assistance.

Am I intentionally homeless?

We can decide that you are intentionally homeless if you:

  1. lost your last home because of something you did or failed to do
  2. chose to leave a home you could have stayed in.

If you are intentionally homeless we will only provide you with temporary accommodation for a limited period and give you advice and assistance to help you find your own accommodation. In cases of intentional homelessness involving families with children, we have a duty to offer the family a chance to be referred to Social Services.

What if I disagree with the Council's decision?

There is a right of appeal if you do not agree with a decision that we make. You can get advice through the Housing Options service, Citizens' Advice Bureau or from a solicitor.

What happens if I am accepted as homeless?

If we decide you are homeless, eligible, in priority need and not intentionally homeless, we have a duty to find you a place to live.

What Happens Next?

If you would like to know what happens once you have made a Homelessness Application please see the Guide “What Happens Next” in the Related Downloads section.

Are You Sleeping Rough?

If you are sleeping rough and want information about places to go for help and advice, please view the leaflet.

Shelter England

Shelter England are the national organisation tackling homelessness and bad housing in Britain. Their website offers advice on homelessness in England including your rights, ways to avoid becoming homeless, useful legal information and all the help and support available to you.

Related pages on this website

Page last updated: 30/05/2017