When deciding what are ‘reasonable steps’, the council should look at the circumstances and particular needs of your household. The council should talk to you about what steps would be appropriate in your case and agree the steps to be taken with you.
Examples of the reasonable steps a council could take are:
- offering to provide a mediation service between you and any members of your family or neighbours to try and help sort out any difficulties so that you can stay in your home;
- offering to speak with your landlord to try and allow you to stay in your home or agree some more time so that you can find other accommodation;
- helping you to negotiate with your mortgage lender or to apply for help so that you can continue to meet your mortgage payments (for example, through a Mortgage Rescue Scheme or Support for Mortgage Interest payments);
- providing you with a grant or a loan to pay off arrears so that you can stay in your home;
- providing you with a grant or a loan to pay a tenancy deposit or rent in advance on a new home;
- providing you with, or referring you for, specialist advice about your money and benefits;
- helping you set a realistic budget so that you can afford to stay in your home or pay for somewhere new;
- providing you with, or referring you for, specialist independent housing advice;
- helping you fill out application forms for housing (for example with a Housing Association or for supported housing);
- providing you with advice and support about personal safety if you are at risk of abuse, helping you find a safe home or refuge, referring you for legal advice if needed;
- helping you with an application for a Discretionary Housing Payment or to the Discretionary Assistance Fund;
- providing you with a furniture pack for a new home;
- referring you to an anti-social behaviour prevention service;
- supporting you with applications for Disabled Facilities Grants to help adapt your home.
These are just examples of what steps the council might offer to take for you. They may offer other help which is not on the list. If there is some help that you think the council can provide which would stop you becoming homeless then talk about that help with them.
The council should agree with you the steps that are going to be taken. Some councils may agree a Personal Housing Plan with you. Ask for a copy of this so that you can see what has been agreed. If you do not have a Personal Housing Plan ask the council to write down the steps that have been agreed and give you a copy.
You should make sure you do everything that is agreed on the plan and attend any appointments that are arranged for you.