Contacting us as soon as you know that you are threatened with homelessness will give us the chance to actively review all of your options and gives us the best chance of re-housing you.
Our Housing Advice team will explore a range of options including a referral to an agency such as the YMCA or the Foyer or looking assisting you in finding appropriate alternative accommodation within the private sector.
Helping those who are homeless
If we are unable to prevent you from becoming homeless or help you find alternative housing, we may have a duty to help you as a homeless person.
We only have a duty to certain homeless people under the Housing Act 1996, as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002.
We have a duty to find you a home if all the following apply:
- You are homeless.
- You are eligible for assistance.
- You have a priority need for housing, as defined by law.
- You have not become homeless intentionally.
- You have a local connection with Welwyn Hatfield.
For each of these to apply you have to meet the criteria below.
You are homeless
By law, you are homeless if you do not have a home in the UK or anywhere else in the world available for you to occupy. You would also be considered homeless if you have a home but it is not reasonable for you to continue living in it.
You are eligible for assistance
Being eligible for assistance means you are entitled to help with housing from a local authority if you need it. Although most UK residents are eligible for such help, some people from abroad are not. The law in this area is very complicated and the following only gives an introduction. You might not be eligible if any of the following apply:
- You are not habitually resident in the UK or Ireland.
- You are an EU or EEA national but not classed as a 'worker'.
- You are an EU or EEA national incapable of work and have never worked.
- You are a person from abroad who does not have a legal right to public funds.
You have a priority need for housing
You are considered in priority need if any of the following apply to you or to a member of your household:
- You are pregnant.
- You have dependent children.
- You are homeless as a result of emergency such as fire, flood or other disaster
- You are vulnerable as a result of old age, mental illness, physical disability or other special reason
- You are a child aged 16 or 17, subject to exceptions
- You are a young person under 21, who has been looked after, accommodated or fostered, but who is not a student in full time education
- You are vulnerable as a result of having served in the armed forces, having been imprisoned or ceasing to occupy accommodation because of actual or threatened violence.
You have not become homeless intentionally
If we find that you are homeless, we have to look at whether you became homeless intentionally. For example you may be intentionally homeless if you are evicted from your home because you did not pay your rent when you could have done so or you give up your home when it is reasonable for you to continue living there.
You have a local connection with Welwyn Hatfield
If you are unintentionally homeless, eligible for assistance and have a priority need for housing you are entitled to housing assistance from a local authority.
You have a connection with Welwyn Hatfield if any of the following apply to you:
- You have lived in Welwyn Hatfield for at least six out of the last twelve months or three out of the last five years.
- You have a close relative (parent, adult child, brother or sister) who has lived in Welwyn Hatfield for the past five years.
- You have a permanent job in Welwyn Hatfield.
We will write to tell you our decision when you make a homeless person's application. You have the right to ask for a review of our decision if you disagree with it.