Homeless or at Risk of Becoming Homeless

What to do if you think you might be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless

If you think you might be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, you should make contact with the Housing Advice Team as soon as possible. You may wish to contact us via a support worker or agency of your choice such as CAB/Whabac (Worcester Housing & Benefit Advice Centre).

The Housing Advice Team  provide a high quality, customer focused service to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to empower them to make informed choices about their housing options.

We believe that homelessness can be prevented in the majority, if not all, cases. There is a range of ways in which we can do this, and there are different housing options available to you in the City.

 The most important thing is don't leave it too late!

The sooner you act, the better chances you have of keeping your home or getting the help and support that need for your situation.

It is also important to contact the service as early as possible during the day if you have nowhere to stay. If you cannot be seen in office hours and cannot wait until the next working day, please call the Out Of Hours number 01562 733178 for assistance

The Housing Options Officer will work with you to try and prevent your homelessness or get the help and support you need given your situation. For further information please read the Homeless or at Risk of Becoming Homeless Leaflet.

Please be aware that thousands of people apply as homeless and for housing every year, the demand for housing is more than the available supply and to help you a home which meets your needs it is really important that you work closely with us, provide information when requested and have patience whilst we make our assessment.

We understand that you will be anxious and concerned about your situation, but please be assured that your Housing Officer will keep you updated about your application and notify you of the Councils decision as soon as possible. 

 

If you are homeless, please contact us as soon as possible using the options below.

Register for an account and make an application through the customer portal.

The customer portal is an online account where you will be able to manage your application. You will have the ability to:

  • View the status of your application
  • View any letters that have been sent to you
  • Communicate with your housing officerMonitor your Personal Housing Plan
  • Upload documents using a computer or smartphone.

If you need help registering for an account and submitting an application, step by step instructions can be found here.

You will need an email Step by step instructions for setting up an email address can be found here.

If you do not have an email address and are not able to set one up, please complete the Homeless Assessment Form online or come into the Hive and a customer service advisor will be able to assist you.

If you would like to speak to a Housing Solutions Officer for advice, you can telephone 01905 722589. Officers are available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

The homelessness process takes time and will go through the following steps. You can assist us by providing the following information at the various stages.

Step 1: Showing us you are eligible and homeless.

When you call us, you will need to be able to prove that you are eligible for help (generally speaking, as a UK citizen or EU worker you are eligible) and are actually homeless. That may include a section 21 notice or a letter confirming your circumstances. If you do not have a connection to Worcester City Council, we may refer your application to another authority at some stage during the application. Find your local council here.

Step 2: Getting an assessment and creating your Personal Housing Plan

Once we have confirmed your eligibility and circumstances, we will accept a relief duty towards you. This means that we have a legal obligation to assist you to relieve your homelessness. You will meet with a Housing Solutions Officer for a housing assessment. You will need to allow 1-2 hours for this appointment. You will then create your own Personal Housing Plan.

What is a Personal Housing Plan?

A Personal Housing Plan, or PHP, is a set of actions that you and the council will take together to resolve your housing situation. The actions are tailored to meet your individual needs and circumstances.

Step 3: Working on your plan

Over the following few weeks, you will be responsible for updating your plan and taking the necessary actions. You will need to make sure you complete the ‘reasonable steps’ agreed in your plan. Your plan is reviewed regularly and actions may be amended as your case progresses.

If you have registered for a customer portal, you can manage your plan online through your account.

Step 4: Ending the relief duty

We will continue to assist you under the relief duty until one of the following occurs:

  • You accept suitable accommodation that is available to you for at least 6 months
  • You refuse suitable accommodation
  • 56 days expires

If you have successfully found suitable accommodation after a period of 56 days, we will then make a decision about whether we owe you the “Main Housing Duty”. For this, you need to be able to prove you pass five tests.

  1. Eligibility: This means you have the legal right to access public funds, and to work in the UK. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Eligibility’.
  2. Homeless: This means you don’t have a home, anywhere else in the world, where it would be reasonable for you to live. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Homeless’.
  3. Priority Need: This could mean because of vulnerability, such as a health condition, or previously being a member of the armed forces, it is harder for you to find accommodation than someone else. It could mean because you have young children, you have a priority. It could mean, because you have lost your previous home through a disaster, such as a fire or flood, then the council needs to provide you with housing. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Priority Need’.
  4. Not Intentionally Homeless: If you have previously lost accommodation because of something you haven’t done (eg paying your rent), or because of something you have done (eg ASB), then the council may find you intentionally homeless. If we do, we don’t have to provide you with housing. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Intentionally Homeless’.
  5. Local Connection: You need to prove that you have a local connection to Worcester City, such as living here for the last six months, or for three years out of the last five. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Local Connection’.

If you are homeless, please contact us as soon as possible using the options below.

Register for an account and make an application through the customer portal.

The customer portal is an online account where you will be able to manage your application. You will have the ability to:

  • View the status of your application
  • View any letters that have been sent to you
  • Communicate with your housing officer
  • Monitor your Personal Housing Plan
  • Upload documents using a computer or smartphone.

f you need help registering for an account and submitting an application, step by step instructions can be found here.

You will need an email Step by step instructions for setting up an email address can be found here.

If you do not have an email address and are not able to set one up, please complete the Homeless Assessment Form online or come into the Hive and a customer service advisor will be able to assist you.

If you would like to speak to a Housing Solutions Officer for advice, you can telephone 01905 722589. Officers are available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

The homelessness process takes time and will go through the following steps. You can assist us by providing the following information at the various stages.

Step 1: Showing us you are eligible and at risk of homelessness.

When you call us, you will need to be able to prove that you are eligible for help (generally speaking, as a UK citizen or EU taxpayer, you are eligible) and are actually homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. That may include a section 21 notice or a letter confirming your circumstances. If you do not have a connection to Worcester City Council, we may refer your application to another authority. Find your local council here.

Step 2: Getting an assessment and creating your Personal Housing Plan

Once we have confirmed your eligibility and circumstances, you will meet with a Housing Solutions Officer for a housing assessment. You will need to allow 1-2 hours for this appointment. You will then create your own Personal Housing Plan.

What is a Personal Housing Plan?

A Personal Housing Plan, or PHP, is a set of actions that you and the council will take together to solve your housing situation.

If you don’t create a Personal Housing Plan, you can’t move forward with a homeless application.

Step 3: Working on your plan

Over the following few weeks, you will be responsible for updating your plan and taking the necessary actions. We will review the plan regularly.

You will need to make sure you complete the ‘reasonable steps’ agreed in your plan.

If you have registered for a customer portal, you can manage your plan online through your account.

Step 4: If you become homeless

If we are unable to prevent your homelessness we will continue to assist you to find accommodation. We will adapt your Personal Housing Plan to reflect your new circumstances. In some cases, we may be able to offer you temporary accommodation.

Step 4: Decision after 56 days

If we are unable to prevent your homelessness by the end of 56 days, we will make a decision about whether we owe you the “Main Housing Duty”. For this, you need to be able to prove you pass five tests.

  1. Eligibility: This means you have the legal right to access public funds, and to work in the UK. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Eligibility’.
  2. Homeless: This means you don’t have a home, anywhere else in the world, where it would be reasonable for you to live. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Homeless’.
  3. Priority Need: This could mean because of vulnerability, such as a health condition, or previously being a member of the armed forces, it is harder for you to find accommodation than someone else. It could mean because you have young children, you have a priority. It could mean, because you have lost your previous home through a disaster, such as a fire or flood, then the council needs to provide you with housing. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Priority Need’.
  4. Not Intentionally Homeless: If you have previously lost accommodation because of something you haven’t done (eg paying your rent), or because of something you have done (eg ASB), then the council may find you intentionally homeless. If we do, we don’t have to provide you with housing. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Intentionally Homeless’.
  5. Local Connection: You need to prove that you have a local connection to Worcester City, such as living here for the last six months, or for three years out of the last five. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Local Connection’.

 

 

 

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, please register online to submit a self referral.

Phone: 01905 722589

Email: housing@worcester.gov.uk

In person:  The Hive, Sawmill Walk, The Butts, Worcester, WR1 3PB.

Customer Service Centre staff are available at The Hive Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. They will be able to help you complete a self referral.

*Please note the Housing & Welfare Options Team is not a drop-in service. You must submit an application using the link above and you will be contacted to make an appointment within 1 working day depending on the urgency of your situation. Appointments are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

By Post: The Guildhall High Street Worcester WR1 2EY.

Out of hours: If you find that you have become homeless out of hours and have no where to stay you can contact the Emergency Homeless Out Of Hours Number: 01562 733178

Website:  www.worcester.gov.uk/housing

I want to leave my property but will have nowhere to go?

Don't leave any accommodation unless you have received advice from the Housing Advice Team. If you leave your property and then approach for help from the Housing Advice Team this may limit your options. If you would like to leave your accommodation you could always apply on Home Choice Plus for affordable housing. Please see the links below to find out more about Home Choice Plus.

Emergency including Flooding & Fires

If your property has been damaged due to an emergency situation such as a flood or fire and the property is not safe to return to, you should first try and source accommodation with family or friends. If you are unable to source accommodation through family or friends and find yourself homeless then you should call the Housing Advice Team who will be able to advise you accordingly. If you require further advice about flooding please visit our Flooding page.