Key Point of Access

Key Point of Access logo

What is Key Point of Access?

The Key Point of Access (KPA) helps people in Darlington, by giving advice and guidance on housing problems. The KPA aims to prevent people from becoming homeless. Where homelessness cannot be prevented, a full assessment of individual support and accommodation needs will be made. This ensures the right services can be provided, and may include referrals to homeless accommodation funded by Supporting People. In normal circumstances this is the only way to access this accommodation. The KPA will also offer support to vulnerable people, so they are less likely to become homeless again in the future.

It is a project coordinated by Darlington Borough Council and First Stop Darlington.

Who does the Key Point of Access help?

The KPA helps people in Darlington who are currently homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless due to problems they need support with.

How does the Key Point of Access work?

The first thing that will happen is that a simple needs assessment will be completed. We will need to ask you some personal questions, as the information you give us will help us provide the best support to you. It also means that if you contact the KPA again in the future, you will not need to give us this information again.

If you have ongoing support needs, then we will need to complete a more detailed needs assessment with you - we will need to work with other support agencies, who may already be helping you. This will allow us to make an individual housing and support plan that is built around your specific needs and circumstances. Throughout all the processes, you will be involved, and will be able to say what you think about the support services being offered to you.

What if I have no accommodation tonight?

The KPA will make every effort to make sure that some kind of accommodation is available to you. If that is not possible, we will keep working with you, until your housing problem is solved. You may qualify for other emergency housing from Darlington Borough Council as a vulnerable person.

What if I have particular needs that normal services can’t deal with?

The KPA works closely with other support agencies, to help you with any issues that you may have, for example drug or alcohol problems. We will do our best to make sure that we get you the right type of support to help your particular needs.


Through support at the KPA we will make sure that you are informed about housing choices, to help you find permanent accommodation. This will include making sure that you are on the waiting list with housing associations, Darlington Borough Council housing, and looking at renting from private landlords. KPA staff will assist you with the application process and bidding for property under the Choice Based Lettings Scheme.

Contact us

Someone from an advice agency or hostel can contact the KPA on your behalf. If you are unable to leave your home, we can arrange for someone to visit you.

Staff are based both at First Stop Darlington’s office, and the customer service centre.

First Stop Darlington:
32 Houndgate
01325 371792

Housing Options Team
Customer Services Centre
Town Hall
01325 405333

If you need help regarding homelessness outside of these hours please call 0870 2402994

Someone from an advice agency or hostel can contact the KPA on your behalf. If you are unable to leave your home, we can arrange for someone to visit you.