About our advice service and the Homelessness Reduction Act
Our advice service
We deliver a range of advice and assistance to those with accommodation needs. We offer free and confidential advice on various housing related subjects, whether you:
- rent privately
- own a property
- have no fixed address
- are a housing association tenant
The Homelessness Reduction Act
From 3 April 2018 the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 came into force. The act puts a legal duty on councils to:
- offer more support to a wider range of people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, and
- intervene earlier
The new Homelessness Reduction Act increases the requirements for local housing authorities to help all eligible applicants, not just those with a ‘priority need’.
It adds two new duties:
- duty one - to prevent homelessness
- duty two - to take steps to relieve homelessness
As part of duty one:
- we must help people at risk of losing suitable accommodation as soon as they're threatened with homelessness within 56 days
- we should help people on receiving a valid notice from their landlord if they're struggling to find a letting (rather than telling them to come back when they have a bailiff’s date)
As part of duty two:
- we must help all those who are homeless to secure suitable accommodation, regardless of whether they're ‘intentionally homeless’ or priority need
- we should offer help to find a home for all eligible households (rather than turning some people away)
If our help doesn't work and the household becomes or remains homeless, then those in priority need retain their right to be rehoused. But non-priority households will not be entitled to further help.
Helping you keep your home
If you're in danger of losing your home, we'll work with you to prevent this from happening.
We can help if you're:
- fleeing domestic abuse
- facing possession proceedings
- being evicted by a private landlord
- being asked to leave by friends or relatives
If it's not possible to prevent you becoming homeless, we'll try to help you find a new home.
If you're a private tenant having any problems that could lead to losing your home, we can intervene early by speaking to your landlord to resolve any issues you may have.
Services for rough sleepers and single homeless people
We work in partnership with a number of agencies to provide accommodation and support to single homeless and rough sleeping people.
If you're faced with sleeping rough in west Norfolk, there are services that can support you.
If you have a local connection to west Norfolk you may be able to access some of the hostels and shared accommodation in the borough. Contact the Housing Options Service.
If you're concerned for someone sleeping rough, or are sleeping rough yourself, call Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 or visit www.streetlink.org.uk.
For further information on the Housing Options Service, please visit our housing pages.