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Once you've told us you're homeless

Information about next steps including personal housing plans and our advice service

How we’ll help

Once you've told us your homeless, or you expect to become homeless within the next eight weeks (56 days), we'll discuss your situation with you. If we can't help straight away we'll book an assessment with you.

If, during the assessment, we decide there's a risk that you'll become homeless, we'll create a Personal Housing Plan with you.

Personal Housing Plan

Your Personal Housing Plan will list steps for both you and your Housing Options Officer to take to either:

  • stop you becoming homeless
  • help you find new accommodation if you’re already homeless 

Help we may give you could include:

  • support to claim benefits
  • talk to your family or friends if they’ve told you to leave
  • advice on tenancy rights or debt
  • help to find a private tenancy
  • advice on applying for social housing 

The steps you may be asked to take could include:

What to bring to your assessment

Your assessment will be at our offices with one of our Housing Options Officers.

You'll need to bring information that shows your current situation, including proof of:

  • identity, such as passport or ID card
  • income, such as wage slips, proof of benefits or bank statements
  • children, such as birth certificates or child benefit letter
  • medical conditions, such as a doctor letter
  • tenancy, such as your tenancy agreement and eviction notice (if applicable)

After your assessment

After your assessment we’ll expect you to take the actions in your Personal Housing Plan. Your Housing Options Officer will also take the actions they’ve agreed to. 

We hope that by taking the actions in your Personal Housing Plan you:

  • won’t become homeless, or
  • if you’re already homeless, you’ll find a place to live

You must carry out anything we ask you to do as part of your Personal Housing Plan. Our homelessness prevention and relief duties can be brought to an end if you don't, and if you deliberately refuse to work with us.

Temporary accommodation

We might provide you with temporary accommodation while we look at your homeless application. This is on a case by case basis. You can find out more information on our temporary accommodation page.

Further help

If the actions in your Personal Housing Plan haven’t been successful, we may be able to help you further. We call this further help qualifying for the ‘main housing duty’.

The main housing duty is:

  • only owed to people who have a 'priority need'
  • only considered if you’re still homeless after you and your Housing Options Officer have completed the actions in your Personal Housing Plan

You may be a priority need if:

  • you're pregnant
  • you've got children
  • we consider you as vulnerable because of time in the armed forces

How you qualify for the main housing duty

To qualify for the main housing duty, all the following five conditions must apply to you. You need to:

  • be eligible for help
  • be legally homeless
  • be in priority need
  • have become homeless through no fault of your own
  • have a local connection to West Norfolk

The Shelter website explains these conditions in more detail

If you qualify for the main housing duty

If all of the above applies to you:

  • you could be offered a housing association property, or
  • we may also arrange a private tenancy (we’ll make sure the tenancy is for at least 12 months)