If you are homeless (or likely to become homeless in the next 56 days) and ask the council for help with housing, it should take a ‘homelessness application’ from you. Once a homelessness application has been taken the council will have certain duties to help you. Depending upon your circumstances, it may have to find you emergency accommodation or perhaps help you return or stay in your home. For more detailed information on what help the council can give, click here.
You can make a homelessness application to any council, regardless of where you have been living or the reasons you have become homeless. If the council refuse to take a homelessness application from you, get advice immediately.
The council will want to talk to you about what has happened and how you have become homeless. They should offer you the choice of being interviewed by a person of the same sex and should speak to you sensitively. If you feel that the person interviewing you is not being sympathetic or is not taking you seriously, tell them, or ask to speak to their manager.
The council may ask you for some evidence of the abuse or threats, for example a crime reference number. However, if you cannot supply evidence, the council should take your word that you have been a victim of abuse or threats of abuse. You may be asked to sign a statement stating what has happened.
Just because you may not have suffered actual abuse in the past does not mean that there is not a chance it could happen in the future. The council should not insist that you prove abuse has already happened.
The council will then carry out an assessment of your situation to decide what help they should give you. The council may contact the police, your friends and relatives, your landlord, your doctor, or anyone else you have told or who may know about the abuse. However, they should not contact the person who has been violent against you or threatened you, as this could put you at risk. If the council decides that you are eligible for help, homeless, or at risk of homelessness, then the council should provide you with support as soon as possible. The council may write a Personal Housing Plan with you.