We assess claims of homelessness from people who are homeless, or threatened with homelessness. If you meet the criteria, we will help you find permanent accommodation (either council housing, with a social landlord or in the private rented sector)
The Homelessness Act (2002) requires all local authorities to develop a Homelessness Strategy every five years, based on a review of the local homelessness situation. A new strategy is due this year. Preventing Homelessness Strategy - please read a copy of the Strategy here [pdf document]
Are you about to be made homeless?
Housing Options operate an appointment service from 9am until 4.45pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am until 4pm on a Friday. If you are not homeless tonight please contact customer services on 01325 405333 to make an appointment or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are homeless tonight, please go to customer services at the Town Hall and ask to see an emergency homeless officer. You will be seen at some point of the working day but you may have some waiting time. If you need help outside of the working day, an emergency service is available on 01642 524552 or Minicom: 01642 602346.
What you need to bring to your housing options interview (some documents may not be applicable)
- Personal details
- Identification for you and your partner (full birth certificate or passport)
- Full birth certificates for any children
- Proof of pregnancy (for example, MATB1 book)
- Child benefit award letter
- Tax credit award letter
- Benefit pension books/award letters
- Accommodation details
- Tenancy agreement
- Proof of address (for example, utilities bill)
- Proof of ownership if you are an owner-occupier
- Copies of recent mortgage statements
- Proof of the sale and details of any equity of any property you have ever owned
- Details of any rent or mortgage arrears
- Notice to quit/court papers
- Letter from friend/relative/parents asking you to leave
- Financial details (if you are in mortgage or rent arrears)
- Three months consecutive statements or passbooks for all bank/building society/savings accounts held
- Two months or five weeks worth of payslips
- Contract of employment (if your work is your local connection to Darlington)
- Proof of any other benefits
- Proof of debts
- Medical information
- Details of any medical condition
- Name and address of GP
- Name and address of consultant/CPN
- Name and address of any support you receive
- Copies of repeat prescriptions
- Other information
- Copy of injunction
- Copy of court papers
- Contract of employment
At your interview we will provide you with an action plan listing what we will do and what you need to do.
Please be aware that if we need to place you into temporary accommodation there will be a cost to you - this will not all be covered by Housing Benefit due to welfare reform changes.
We need to consider the following five points when we assess an application
Are you eligible for accommodation or assistance under the homeless legislation? You are eligible if:
- You are a British Citizen.
- You have been granted refugee status.
- You have been granted exceptional or indefinite leave to enter or remain which is not subject to any conditions.
Are you homeless or threatened with homelessness within the next 28 days? You are if:
- You have no accommodation available for your occupation in the UK or elsewhere that you have a legal right to occupy.
- You have a property but cannot secure entry to it.
- You have accommodation but it would not be reasonable to continue to occupy it (for example, due to domestic violence.)
Do you have a priority need? You have a priority need if:
- You have dependant children or you or someone who resides with, or is expected to reside with you, is pregnant.
- You are homeless due to an emergency (fire, flood or other disaster.)
- You are vulnerable due to old age, mental illness, disability or physical disability.
- You are vulnerable as a result of time spent in the Armed Forces or Prison.
- You are vulnerable as a result of being looked after or accommodated or fostered by the Local Authority.
- You are 16/17 years old and not a relevant child who would be covered by the Children Act 1989
- You are a 18-20 year old care leaver.
- A person who is vulnerable as a result of ceasing to occupy accommodation as a result of violence or threats of violence
- Other special reasons as outlined at 8.28 in the Homelessness Code of Guidance.
Are you intentionally homeless? A person is intentionally homeless if:
- You have deliberately done or failed to do something, which caused you to leave accommodation that you could have remained in and it would have been reasonable for you to stay there. For example; you failed to pay your rent when you had the money to do so which led to you being evicted.
Do you have a local connection with Darlington? A person has a local connection if:
- You have lived in the area six out of the last twelve months or three out of the last five years.
- You have immediate family who have lived in Darlington
- You have permanent employment in the Darlington area.
- You have a connection for another special reason.
You will be asked to sign the homeless application, authorising us to make the necessary enquiries, for example we may need to contact Doctors, Solicitors, Landlords etc. You will be notified in writing within 33 working days of the decision.
Please do not give false information in order to obtain council accommodation - you may be prosecuted
Bridge2Home [external link] - if you do not have the money for a deposit to rent from a private landlord, Bridge2Home can help by offering a guarantee against you causing damage to their property.
Help To Buy NEYH [external link] - can help you get a foot on the property ladder and offers a range of affordable home ownership options