Housing Problems In 2020

Finding a home to rent or buy shouldn’t have to be a problem – but it is. We are here to address the UK’s housing crisis.

#HousingWeek 2020

Housing Week brought together housing associations to show how they are leading through change.

The world has changed and we need to show that we are ready to meet the new challenges with innovative ideas. Housing Week is your opportunity to do that.

Each day of the week focused on a different topic, allowing housing associations of all size and type to talk about how they are leading through change in their own organisations. It was an opportunity to take away new ideas from colleagues in the sector as well as innovators from outside of it.

Maximus Edwardson

How We Help

Helping Homeowners & Tenants

  • social housing and care
  • support for victims of domestic violence
  • homelessness advice
  • stop repossession advice

Homelessness is a real issue in the UK. It's time to act.

Understanding Homelessness – If You’re Facing Eviction or Losing Your Home, Here’s Some Advice on What You Can Do

Being in a situation where you’re faced with the possibility of becoming homeless is something that we never imagine happening to ourselves, and we hope never will.

In fact, in the UK we’re facing a homeless epidemic like never before, with as many as 320,000 people in the population currently on the streets or classed as homeless, and counting.

Today, we’re going to be taking an in depth look at understanding what it means to be homeless, and what your options are.

Generally speaking, we consider “homelessness” as quite literally being on the streets – but what does the law consider the true meaning of “homeless” is?

  • If you have no accommodation that you’re entitled to live in or is acceptable for you to live in, the government will classify you as homeless – and anyone else who may be expected to live with you, children for example.
  • If you’re sleeping on the sofa of a friend or family member, or are sleeping rough, you will be classified as homeless.
  • If you have a home, but it’s too overcrowded or is unliveable, you will also be classified as homeless.
  • And finally, if you can’t go back to home because you’re at risk of abusive or violent behaviour there, you’re considered as homeless by the government.

The assumption that you must be “on the street” in order to be homeless, is therefore incorrect. Any of these circumstances would classify a person as being homeless.

The first port of call, should you find yourself in any of these unfortunate circumstances, would be to contact the local council.

  • The most important thing to know, is that if you don’t contact your local council’s housing association, then they don’t have any obligation to help you, so you MUST inform them immediately.
  • If you’re in a position where a social worker or counsellor knows of your situation, they are only allowed to tell the local council if you give them your permission, which is then called a referral. It’s worth asking to see the paperwork before they send it off, however, to ensure all of the details are correct and the information is as accurate as possible.
  • They may ask to see forms of ID such as passports and driving licenses, so be wary of that. Likewise, they may also ask to see proof of your income, or a proof of eviction if that’s the case.
  • You can either go to the office directly and wait, or ring and arrange an appointment on a specific time or day.

There is a process that must be followed, in which a housing officer will then determine whether or not you’re eligible for housing assistance:

  • If you’re a British or Irish citizen living in the UK or an EU citizen working in the UK with permanent residence, then you should be entitled to housing assistance automatically. EU laws might change slightly due to Brexit, so you should look into this further if it’s likely to affect you.
  • In the assessment they’ll also evaluate your incomings and outgoings, so it’s likely you’ll have to provide proof of these also.
  • If you are considered entitled, then the council have to offer you something called “relief duty”, which means they must help you to find suitable accommodation, but don’t actually have to rehouse you themselves.
  • Relief duty lasts as long as fifty six days (eight weeks) from the date the council notes your eligibility. They have to help you for this time period. At the end of this period, if you’re assessed as homeless, haven’t made yourself intentionally homeless, and are considered in priority need, then it’s the council’s duty to house you. Unfortunately if you’re not considered as in priority need, then the council doesn’t have to offer you a permanent residence, but you will receive notice up to twenty eight days prior.

Finally, there are a few other options out there:

  • The charity Shelter have advice centres, and a free housing helpline which is contactable seven days a week.
  • Citizens advice, and lawyers specialising in housing law are also an option. Remember you can also be entitled to legal aid.
  • There are other specialist helplines for those with debt, domestic abuse sufferers and men’s and women’s lines that offer advice and guidance.

Above all else, remember to act. Should you find yourself in a situation that could result in homelessness, seek help immediately. The sooner, the better.

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