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Housing advice

Are you homeless now or think you will be soon?

What happens when you tell us you are homeless or worried about becoming homeless

How we will help

When you tell us you are homeless or worried about becoming homeless within the next 8 weeks (56 days) we will discuss your situation and needs with you.

As part of our assessment we will make enquiries to determine if theres a risk that you will become homeless. If we assess that there is a risk we will draw up a Personalised Housing Plan with you.

Your Personalised Housing Plan will list actions for both you and your Caseworker to take to either:

  • stop you becoming homeless
  • help you find new accommodation if you arre already homeless

Getting a council property

You probably wont be offered a council property, even if you are homeless.

There are approximately more than 2000 households in Sutton who are currently on the waiting list for council or housing association housing, and there are very few available properties.

Your homelessness assessment

Before you contact us you should complete the online Housing Options Assessment. This will ask you some questions about your situation and generate tailored advice on the potential housing options available to you. To access the online Housing Options Assessment. If you still need our help, make a note of your reference number and call us on 0208 770 5000. The contact centre will pass your message to the Gateway and Initial Assessment Team, who will call you back within 4 hours.

When we speak to you, we will need to ask you a lot of questions in order to fully assess your circumstances. It would help if you have the following information to hand for everyone in your household:

  • Names and dates of birth
  • 5 year address history
  • Information on any medical conditions or other support needs
  • Details of your income and any benefits you receive

We may also ask you to provide some or all of the following documents:

  • Proof of ID such as passport or birth certificate
  • Birth certificates for any children
  • Tenancy agreement
  • Any notice served by your landlord
  • Proof of pregnancy or any medical conditions
  • Bank statements, wage slips and benefit letters

If we determine that you are homeless, or threatened with homelessness, we will work with you to agree the actions that should go in your Personalised Housing Plan. 

It is important for you to be open and honest at your assessment so your Caseworker can give you the correct advice and support.

If you dont have a local connection to Sutton and are already homeless, you may be referred to a local authority where you do have a connection. This doesnt apply if there is a risk of violence or domestic abuse to you in your local connection borough.

Your Personalised Housing Plan

Your Personalised Housing Plan will include actions that you and your Housing Advisor will agree to take.

You may agree to:

  • contact your landlord to try to resolve particular issues
  • fill in forms, such as an income and expenditure form, which will show us how much money you spend or have coming in
  • keep a record of any actions you ave taken
  • be referred to other organisations for advice and support
  • contact any family or friends to ask them to let you stay temporarily
  • look for work or privately rented accommodation

Your Caseworker may agree to:

  • give you advice about your rights as a tenant
  • talk to your family or friends if theyve told you to leave
  • help you make a claim for benefits or discretionary housing payments
  • help you find private rented accommodation
  • refer you to other organisations for specialist advice and support, such as the NHS, welfare benefits or debt advice

You must cooperate with us

It is your responsibility to cooperate with us and do things to help yourself while we are trying to sort out your housing problem.

You must tell us if any of your circumstances change.

We may decide that we have no duty to help you if we believe that you are:

  • refusing to work with us
  • not carrying out the tasks in your Personalised Housing Plan

After your assessment

After your assessment, we will expect you to take the actions in your Personalised Housing Plan. Your Caseworker will also take the actions they have agreed to. You can contact your Caseworker if you have any questions.

We hope that by taking the actions in your Personalised Housing Plan and with our support, you wont become homeless, or if youre already homeless, you will find a place to live.

Temporary accommodation

We might provide you with temporary accommodation while we look at your homeless application. This will depend on your personal circumstances. Most people wont be offered temporary accommodation but we can provide you with information on hostels and other short term, emergency accommodation options.

Please see the following documents for answers to some frequently asked questions about temporary accommodation:

Temporary Accommodation FAQs

Emergency Accommodation FAQs

Further help

If the actions in your Personalised Housing Plan havent been successful after we have been working with you for at least 56 days, we may be able to help you further. We call this further help qualifying for the main housing duty.

The main housing duty is:

  • only owed to people in certain situations
  • only considered if you are still homeless after you and your Caseworker have completed; the actions in your Personalised Housing Plan

How you qualify for the main housing duty

To qualify for the main housing duty, all the following five conditions must apply to you.

  • You need to be eligible for help
  • You need to be legally homeless
  • You need to be in priority need
  • You need to have become homeless through no fault of your own
  • You need to have a local connection to Sutton

TheShelter websiteexplains these conditions in more detail

If you qualify for the main housing duty

If all of the above applies to you then we will have a duty to provide you with temporary accommodation until you are either offered a council or housing association property or a privately rented property. The waiting time for council or housing association accommodation could be up to 5 years plus.

If you are 16 or 17 years old you do not need to complete theonline housing options form but you can call 020 8770 5000 for further advice.(we are currently drafting new procedures for young people so this may change)

If you are 18+ years old you must still complete the online housing options formand follow the next steps part of your action plan. If you still require assistance then call 0208 770 5000 and ask to log a call with the Gateway and Initial Assessment Team who will call you back within 4 hours.

Accommodation for single homeless veterans

Veterans facing housing issues can also contact the following organisations who may be able to help:

Amicus Trust Limited

Email: info@amicustrust.org

Tel 01234 358478

Haig Housing

tel: 020 8685 5777

Stoll

Email: info@stoll.org.uk

Tel:020 7385 2110