I am homeless

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Are you homeless or at risk of becoming homeless?

There have been some important changes made to the regulations for collecting and storing personal information under new legislation called GDPR which takes effect from 25th May 2018. For further information on how the Council manages the information it collects from you please see the Housing privacy notice.

You can get housing advice from the council by completing an online Housing Advice form using the relevant button below:

Before completing the form you will need:

  • An email address - there is advice on the form about how to set up an email address
  • National Insurance number - Find a lost National Insurance number - on the GOV.UK website
  • Your address history for the last six years
  • Medical information about you or a member of your household.
  • Financial information for all household members: eg wages, benefits, tax credit and child benefit awards, savings, expenditure

Please provide as much detail as you can about your household's circumstances on the form which will help the Housing Solutions Team decide what advice you need or which services to direct you to.

ID and documents you will be asked for:

  • You can upload ID & other documents using the housing advice form: if you are unable to do this you can hand documents into reception
  • ID for all household members: eg passport, birth certificate, driving licence
  • Income evidence: eg payslips, benefits letter, tax credit and child benefit award letter, pension letter, bank statements, P60
  • Medical information: eg letters or reports from GP, hospital consultants or other medical practitioners such as occupational therapist
  • Proof of address: eg tenancy agreement, notice from your landlord

What you need to know before completing the Housing Advice form:

  • The form can be completed using most devices, such as a laptop, tablet or phone.
  • You have 10 days to complete and submit your form. After this time you will need to start a new form.
  • You need to remember your security question and answer.
  • Please note that the form will time out after 15 minutes of inactivity. If you need to stop or find more information you can use the Finish Later option. You will be sent an email with your login details and access to your customer portal to login up to 10 days later to complete your form.
  • The Finish Later option will appear after the first four sections when you have entered your security information so we can identify you when you come back to complete your form.

If you are unable to complete the form you can attend the Council's offices at:

  • Portland House, 44 Richmond Road, Worthing, BN11 1HS

There is a duty housing officer available on:

  • Monday to Friday from 9 to 11am and 1 to 4pm
  • except Thursday when the duty officer is available from 1 to 4pm only

If you are sleeping rough in the area or at risk of sleeping rough you can get advice about the support available to you from:

  • St Clare's Community Hub, 6-8 Marine Place, Worthing, BN11 3DN

You can find out about their services and also when they are on the:

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Furniture, Removals and Pets

What happens to my furniture if I have nowhere to live?

You will usually need to arrange for your furniture to be stored. Help with storage or removals will only be provided in circumstances when you are unable to make your own arrangements. When assistance is provided, Adur & Worthing Councils reserve the right to recover any costs associated with storage and removal from you.

What happens to my pets if I am homeless?

You will need to arrange to re-home your pets as interim accommodation will not be suitable for pets.

Most providers of temporary accommodation will not allow pets. You will be responsible for making provision for your animals. The Council will only make arrangements for the boarding of pets in exceptional circumstances. Where these services are arranged Adur or Worthing Councils, the appropriate Council reserves the right to make a reasonable charge.

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Homeless Decisions

What can I do if I am not happy with the decision the Council has made about my homelessness?

Adur District Council or Worthing Borough Council will provide you with a written notification of the decision that has been made regarding your application.

If you do not agree with the decision that has been made, you have the right to request a review of that decision.

How do I ask for a review of a homeless decision?

If you wish to request a review of the decision that has been made, you must do so within 21 days of being notified of the decision. Details of how to do this is set out in the Council's decision letter.

The review is carried out by a Senior Officer of the Council who was not involved in the original decision. The reviewing officer can either uphold the original decision, overturn the original decision or change the original decision to reach a different decision.

If you are not happy with the review decision you have the right to appeal to the County Court on a point of law. You must submit an appeal to the Court within 21 days of the notification of the review decision.

If you are requesting a review or are appealing against a decision, you are strongly advised to seek independent advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau or Shelter, or a solicitor.

Adur District Council or Worthing Borough Council does not have to provide accommodation for you while a review is being considered. However, the Council does have discretion to provide accommodation and would consider each case on its merit taking into account any supporting information provided.

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Housing for people who are homeless

Does the Council have to provide accommodation for me if I am homeless?

As much as we would like to, the council cannot help everyone that becomes homeless. We are a service under intense pressure, and unfortunately you must meet our criteria in order to qualify for Council assistance.

How do I get temporary accommodation?

There are specific groups of people that the Council has a duty to re-house but sometimes this is only for a short time. If you fall within one of the priority need groups, you may be entitled to interim accommodation which usually consists of one room for you and any family members included on your application. It is often not possible for us to find emergency accommodation in the Adur or Worthing areas so you may be offered accommodation on a short term basis in another area.

Once a decision is made about your homelessness application, you will be told if the Council has to offer you temporary accommodation. While you are in temporary accommodation you will be in Band C on the Housing Register. It will take an average of two to three years before you are rehoused into permanent accommodation but it could take longer as it depends on how many properties become available.

Do I have to pay for accommodation if I am homeless?

You will have to pay rent and service charges for any accommodation that is provided for you. No accommodation is provided free of charge even if you are homeless.

If you claim benefits, you may be entitled to assistance with Housing Benefit to help you with the rent charge but you will still have to pay a service charge from your own income or benefits.

Does the Council have to provide permanent housing for me if I am homeless?

Only people whose names are on the Council's Register of Housing Need can be considered for permanent housing.

Your need for permanent housing will be compared with the needs of other applicants, and it is important to note that we cannot prioritise your application solely on your homelessness status.

How long does it take to be rehoused if I am homeless?

Adur & Worthing Councils operate a Choice Based Lettings system which determines priority via a Banding system.

There are four Bands: A, B, C and D, with A being the highest.

Applicants owed the main housing duty under the homelessness legislation are generally in Band C and approximately 50% of available properties are let to people in Band C.

See also: Choice Based Lettings (Housing Register)

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Page last updated: 11 April 2022

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