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Homeless or at risk
Finding yourself with nowhere to live or the risk of being made homeless is both frightening and stressful. We want to help you by preventing homelessness from occurring wherever possible so that you can avoid the worry of this difficult situation.
You may be entitled to assistance from us as being homeless or in threat of homelessness if:
- You've received a notice
- You've been told to leave your home
- You no longer have a legal right to occupy your home
- You've been prevented from gaining access to your home or
- You're at risk of violence or abuse if you were to remain in your home.
If you need housing advice you use our housing advice form below.
You'll first be asked a range of questions to assess where you're likely to be eligible for assistance and considered as being at risk of homelessness. Depending on your situation you may be advised that you should complete a referral for housing assistance. This referral can take up to 30 minutes to complete.
How will you help me?
Where we accept that there's reason to believe you may be homeless or threatened with homelessness, we must carry out inquiries to satisfy whether you're eligible for assistance and if so, what duties are owed.
Applicants who are eligible and homeless or threatened with homelessness must have an assessment of their case, which includes assessing:
- The circumstances that have caused them to be homeless or threatened with homelessness
- Their housing needs, and what accommodation would be suitable for them, their household and anybody who might reasonably be expected to live with them; and
- The support that would be necessary for them, and anybody who will be living with them to have and sustain suitable accommodation
We'll also agree a Personalised Housing Plan (PHP) with the applicant. This plan will set out the reasonable steps that we'll take to help the applicant prevent or relieve their homelessness and will contain steps that the applicant is required to take themselves (known as mandatory steps). The plan may also include steps that we consider advisable for the applicant to take.
The assessment and PHP will be kept under review and any amendments will be notified to the applicant. We can end our duty to applicant as a result of the applicant’s deliberate and unreasonable refusal to co-operate.
Threatened with homelessness
A person is threatened with homelessness if they're likely to become homeless within 56 days. A person is also threatened with homelessness if a valid Section 21 has been issued, and the notice will expire within 56 days. Find more information on Section 21's.
If we're satisfied that someone is eligible for housing assistance and is in threat of homelessness, we have a duty to work with the person to help prevent them from becoming homeless. This is known as the Prevention Duty.
The first option we'll explore with them is to help them to remain in their current home where it is possible. Where this is not possible, we'll help to secure alternative accommodation that the applicant can move into in a planned way. This will often involve taking steps to extend an applicant’s stay in their existing accommodation until they can move.
There are a number of different factors that determine whether a person is homeless.
A person is homeless if they have no accommodation in the UK or elsewhere which is available for their occupation and which that person has a legal right to occupy.
A person is also homeless if they have accommodation but can't secure entry to it, or the accommodation is a moveable structure, such as a vehicle or vessel designed or adapted for human habitation and there's nowhere it can lawfully be placed in order to provide accommodation.
A person may also be treated as homeless if they have accommodation but it wouldn't be reasonable for them to continue to occupy that accommodation.
If we're satisfied that a person applying for housing assistance is eligible and homeless, it places a duty on us to work with the person to help them secure accommodation. This is known as the ‘Relief Duty’.
We must take reasonable steps to help the applicant secure suitable accommodation with a reasonable prospect that it will be available for their occupation for at least 6 months.
If you're currently facing the threat of homelessness or are already homeless, please complete our online assessment to receive advice about your options.
If you're homeless today and have nowhere safe to stay please ring our emergency phone line number 0808 196 3710 Monday to Friday 9am-4:30pm. The number will be busy and you may have to try more than once. If you need assistance out of hours please call 01622 602000.
There are several supported housing schemes in Kent run by charitable organisations, including Pathways, Porchlight, Sanctuary, Home Group, Riverside, amongst others. You can find other homelessness service at Homeless Link.
You'll often need to complete a referral and attend an interview to be considered for a vacancy in a supported housing scheme. You may have to wait until a vacancy is available if a housing provider accepts you.
If you complete the referral for housing assistance the information you provide will be used as part of research being carried out by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for statistical analysis, to help understand more about what causes homelessness and how homelessness services can meet people’s need.
Find out more information about the H-CLIC research study.
To find out more information about how the Housing Service uses you data please see the Service Level Privacy Notices.