Homeless

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness we can help you:

  • Keep your existing home
  • Explore your housing options
  • Provide advice and guidance on the council’s statutory homeless duty. 

If you are homeless now or may be at risk of being homeless in the next 56 days please contact the Housing Options Team, who will look at the following five homeless tests:

1. Are you eligible?

Not everyone who is homeless is eligible for help with their housing. The law says that certain people from abroad are not eligible for housing assistance. However, you are likely to be eligible if you are:

  • a British Citizen
  • a national of the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • or a settled person

If you can't get benefits, are subject to immigration control or are an asylum seeker it is unlikely that you will be eligible.

2. Are you homeless?

Broadly speaking you may be homeless if you:

  • have nowhere to stay tonight
  • have been staying somewhere where you have no legal right to stay and you are being told to leave
  • have been locked out of your home and been told not to return
  • have somewhere to live but are likely to face violence if you return
  • are forced to live apart from someone you would normally live with (or someone it is considered reasonable for you to live with)
  • are forced to leave your home because of harassment
  • live in a mobile home, caravan or boat but are unable to park or moor it where you can live.

Normally you would only be considered as homeless if you were going to lose your home in the next 28 days, but if the housing options team get involved earlier they may be able to prevent you from becoming homeless.

3. Are you in priority need?

To be considered a priority need you must be one of the following:

  • a household with dependent children
  • a pregnant woman
  • 16 or 17 years old (Please contact the Young Persons Team)
  • 18 to 21 years old but you've been looked after, accommodated or fostered between the ages of 16 and 18
  • vulnerable due to old age, mental or physical illness or disability, suffering domestic violence or as a result of being in the armed forces or prison or you are over 21 years and were looked after, accommodated or fostered
  • suffered a fire, flood or another disaster which means you are not able to remain in your home

4. Have you made yourself homeless?

You may be considered to have made yourself homeless if you:

  • deliberately gave up your home when it would have been reasonable for you to remain
  • deliberately did or didn't do something which you knew would mean losing your home, for example, not paying your rent or committing antisocial behaviour
  • made arrangements to stay somewhere you had no legal right to with the intention of claiming to be homeless
  • had legal or financial advice or assistance to help you find somewhere else suitable for you to live and you didn't act on it

If you are found to be intentionally homeless, the council may not have a duty to find you somewhere to live and may only provide you advice on the options you have.You will need to take the following information with you:

5. Do you have a local connection to Wolverhampton?

You will need to have a local connection to Wolverhampton, so you will need to be able to show one or more of the following:

  • you have lived in Wolverhampton for six months out of the last 12 months or three years out of the last five years
  • have a permanent job in Wolverhampton
  • have close family in Wolverhampton (parents, brother, sister, grown up children) that have been living here for more than five years

If you have no local connection to Wolverhampton but you satisfy some of the other criteria and a full housing duty is owed to you, you will be referred to a council where you do have a local connection (unless you are at risk of violence in that area).

If you can answer yes to the five homeless tests

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness you can contact us in one of the following ways:

Online: Using our contact form

Visit us: Monday - Friday between 9am and 5pm at the Wolverhampton Homes One Stop Shops, located in:

  • City centre: 29 Market Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 3AG
  • Wednesfield: Alfred Squire Road, Wolverhampton, WV11 1XU
  • Bilston: Church Street, Bilston, WV14 0AP

In an emergency out of office hours: you can call 01902 552999.

Homeless Assessments

If a homeless assessment is required you will be offered a date, time and convenient location to meet with a member of the team. We would ask that you provide the following information for all members of the household where appropriate:-

  • ID (passport, driving licence, birth certificate)
  • Proof of your national insurance number (and proof of the national insurance number of any children you have who are aged 16 and over)
  • All income details (wage slips, benefit entitlement letters, child/working tax information, child benefit)
  • Recent bank statements

In addition to the above information, you should bring the following with you (if relevant to your situation):

  • Medical evidence (occupational therapy reports, consultant or doctors letters)
  • Eviction notice and/or possession order
  • For non-British citizens you will need to provide any documents that relate to your eligibility status (as mentioned above)
  • Any other information that is relevant to your homelessness

You may need to provide other information to help the assessment of your need, this will be made clear to you.

Homeless Reduction Act

The Homelessness Reduction Act came into effect on 3 April 2018 and it adds two new duties in addition to the main housing duty.

The two new duties are:

1. Prevent: Duty to take steps to prevent homelessness: 

We can help you if you are at risk of becoming homeless within 56 days. This means you can get help if you've received a valid notice from your landlord and if you are struggling to find somewhere else to live, or in other circumstances where you are likely to become homeless. (Under the terms of the Homelessness Reduction Act, you must cooperate with the steps and efforts Wolverhampton Homes takes to prevent you from becoming homeless.)

2. Relieve - Duty to take steps to relieve homelessness: 

We will help all eligible households who are likely to become homeless to find suitable accommodation. We are here to help, but it does not mean that we are required to provide a home for everyone. (Under the terms of the Homelessness Reduction Act, you must cooperate with the steps and efforts Wolverhampton Homes is taking to relieve your homelessness.)

Main housing duty 

The main housing duty remains the same, this means that after 56 days, the relief duty comes to an end if you have not been able to secure alternative accommodation. We will then assess whether or not a main housing duty will be owed to you after the relief duty ends. 

The main housing duty is owed to anyone who:

  • remains homeless after the relief duty and
  • are in priority need and
  • have not made themselves intentionally homeless.

We will be under a duty to source suitable alternative accommodation for anyone who is owed the main housing duty. The offer of accommodation can be made in the private rented sector, in housing association property or in council accommodation depending on availability of suitable accommodation. 

Personal Housing Plans

We will work with you to agree a Personal Housing Plan which will outline the actions for you and/or Wolverhampton Homes to take, which will help prevent you becoming homeless and/or help you find a new home.

Useful Links

Homeless advice and temporary accommodation

City of Wolverhampton Council 

 

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