If you are homeless, face losing your home or are in urgent housing need, we can help you. Every Council must provide advice and information to anyone in their area, free of charge, on the prevention of homelessness, securing accommodation when homeless and any help that may be owed to them under the relevant legislation.
In particular, this advice and information must meet the needs of certain groups of people that may be particularly at risk of homelessness, such as:
If you require any help or assistance in relation to a housing problem, you can contact us by telephone on 01329 236100 or email: email@example.com.
If you would like to see someone face to face there is a housing advice drop in service at the Civic Offices in Fareham which is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm.
If it seems likely that you could lose your home within the next 56 days, then you could be threatened with homelessness. You could also be threatened with homelessness if you are served a section 21 notice by your landlord.
If you have nowhere to live, you are homeless. You could also be classed as homeless if you have somewhere to live but either cannot gain access to it, or cannot live there for some reason. These reasons could be:
The Homelessness Reduction Act (2017) came into force on 03 April 2018, and significantly changes the previous homelessness legislation. The HRA places a legal duty on councils to offer more support to a greater number of people, and at an earlier stage. It also requires Councils to work together with people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness for a longer period of time.
One of the main changes is that the HRA brings in two new duties:
First, there is the duty to prevent homelessness. The Council must offer meaningful help and advice in an effort to help you keep your existing home. This applies to any eligible person who is threatened with homelessness within the next 56 days, irrespective of whether they have a priority need.
Second, there is the duty to relieve homelessness. The Council will help all those who are eligible and homeless to find suitable accommodation, regardless of whether they are in priority need or considered to be intentionally homeless.
Another major difference is that this is a collaborative approach, and any efforts to either prevent or relieve homelessness are jointly agreed and set out in a Personalised Housing Plan. However, there may also be penalties if the terms set out in this PHP are not followed. This procedure (76 KB) sets out the circumstances in which such action may be taken.
If the steps above are not successful then, at the end of the relief duties, those households who are considered to be in priority need will continue to be accommodated. Different duties will apply to those who are found to be non-priority or are intentionally homeless.
If you do make a homeless application we will consider your individual circumstances and decide what, if any, housing duty is owed to you. We must then write to you setting out the reasons for this decision. If you disagree with our decision, you might be able to ask us to reconsider it. This Right to Review guide (552 KB) explains how you can do that, and what happens if you do.
Changes are being made to homelessness support service funded by Hampshire County Council. This follows on from a public consultation exercise in the Summer of 2018 and an decision by the Executive Member for Adult Social Care in December 2018.
The changes will affect the services listed below:
From 1st June 2019, these services will only accept referrals from Local Authority Housing Options services and Adults' Health and Care for people who are unable to access support from mainstream services.
As the community support services are for single people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness it is expected that other agencies, who may previously have referred direct into the service, will refer first to the Local Housing Authority under their statutory 'duty to refer' (see below). Following assessment, the Local Housing Authority will refer to community support if this is the most appropriate service.
Whilst the changes being made do include a reduction in service capacity, it is expected that the services will continue to play a valuable part in supporting people who are sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough and that the triage process will ensure that this specialist service continues to be available to support the most vulnerable people to address and prevent homelessness. The County Council also funds outreach services in partnership with the District and Borough Councils in some areas.
From 1 October 2018, certain public authorities are required to notify a housing authority of service users who they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness. This comes from a new Duty to Refer contained within the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.
The purpose of the new duty is to identify people at risk of homelessness as early as possible to maximise opportunities to prevent homelessness.
The public authorities subject to this new duty are:
A county wide Duty to Refer protocol (3 MB) and referral form (785 KB) has been developed for use by representatives from these agencies. Please ensure the person you are referring understands the referral and has given their consent to be referred.
Please email the completed referral form to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will acknowledge receipt of your email and aim to contact the person being referred within 2 working days.
The government has produced guidance for public authorities subject to the duty to refer https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/homelessness-duty-to-refer/a-guide-to-the-duty-to-refer .
The Bank of England base rate has been at a long term low of 0.5% since 2009 and many home owners with a mortgage have benefited from the low interest rate charged on these loans. However those working in the financial industry believe that the BofE rate will increase within the next 6 – 12 months, which could lead to monthly mortgage payments increasing.
This advice and information may help you to think about and prepare for an increase in the interest rates.
If you see someone sleeping rough in the Borough, please let us know so that we can help them.
You can also report Rough Sleeping in any area by using a national phone line and website, called StreetLink. Once advised of a rough sleeper, StreetLink will notify the local service to ensure help and support is made available to the rough sleeper. For further information visit our StreetLink page or visit their website .
We can assess most requests for help over the phone or in person at the Civic Offices. If you are homeless and need urgent advice or help, please contact us on 01329 236100. We will base our decision on your current housing situation and not on your future housing need.