Homelessness

Direct contact with a Housing Needs officer is only possible through our telephone call-back service or pre-booked appointment.

If you are homeless and visit a Peterborough City Council office without a pre-booked appointment, you will be asked by Reception staff to provide a contact phone number for the housing needs team call-back service. There is no drop-in service available.

Introduction

If you are homeless or being threatened with homelessness, which means you have been asked to leave your current accommodation within 56 days or have received a notice to quit from your landlord, you should get advice as soon as possible by contacting us via the Housing Jigsaw portal or by calling  01733 864064.

An appointment will be made for a homelessness interview for you with one of our officers if required. The interview will decide if you are eligible for help. You will need to bring all of the relevant documents to the appointment, this makes it easier for us to decide what help you are eligible for.

Access to Homelessness Prevention Customer Portal

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness within the next 56 days or you have received a notice to quit from your landlord, please use the Housing Jigsaw customer portal to provide us with information about your housing situation.

After receiving your form, we will review the information and make contact to discuss with you further. Our most important aim will be to prevent you from becoming homeless, but if this is not possible, we will help you to explore alternatives such as private rented sector accommodation.

Before you apply

Please don't waste your time

This form will take between 30 and 45 minutes to complete. Do not complete the form if you are not homeless, threatened with homelessness within the next 56 days or have received a valid notice to quit from your landlord.

To use the portal, you will need to register online

Once registered and logged in select "homelessness assistance". You will need to complete a series of questions about your household and housing situation, please ensure that you give as much detail as possible.

Once the registration process is complete, you will receive an email acknowledgement and an assigned officer will contact you to discuss your housing situation and offer appropriate support.

Eligibility for help

The same criteria is used as for the eligibility for the housing register. Any priority need or local connection will also be taken into consideration.

Priority needs

  • 16 or 17 years old
  • pregnant women
  • a person with dependant children
  • homeless due to emergency such as fire, flood or other disaster
  • vulnerable due to old age, mental/physical disability
  • some people who have left care or have spent time in care
  • vulnerable due to a custodial sentence
  • vulnerable due to time spent in the Armed Forces
  • fleeing violence

Local connection

  • having lived in Peterborough for 6 out of the last 12 months
  • having lived in Peterborough for 3 out of the last 5 years
  • having close family relatives in Peterborough
  • having employment in Peterborough
  • a risk of violence if referred back to area which you hold a local connection with
  • no local connection to any other area of the UK

Intentionally homeless

One of our officers will look at whether you are homeless due to your own actions, they will look at :

  • what accommodation have you left
  • did you lose the accommodation due to something you did
  • was the accommodation settled
  • was the accommodation suitable

Homelessness interview

At the homelessness interview one of our officers will discuss your housing situation and the possible options available to you. They will want to know details such as:

  • why are you being asked to leave your current address
  • do you have anywhere else you can live

They will try and help you with any benefits or arrears issues you have, negotiate with your landlord and look into how you can access alternative accommodation if necessary.

The officer who interviews you will become your caseworker and will do everything they can to try and prevent you becoming homeless. They will assess you under the Homeless Reduction Act 2017 and make a decision on whether we have a duty to offer temporary accommodation or permanent housing.

When you approach us as homeless one of our officers will assess your application in line with the Homeless Reduction Act 2017 procedure (PDF). The Act sets out guidelines about who may be eligible for assistance. Our officer has to make a decision using the information that you give them during the homelessness interview.

We may also need to visit your home to verify your homeless circumstances.

Documents you need to bring with you

If you are offered an appointment, you will be asked for evidence of your homelessness. This could be a letter from the person you have been staying with, a possession order or a notice to quit for example.

If you are not able to show proof, we may make contact with the person who has asked you to leave. If you are not already on the housing register, we will ask you for details and documents relating to your family household, address etc.

Duty to refer

Under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 from 1 October 2018, certain public authorities are required to notify a housing authority of service users they consider may be homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days. The public authorities included in the duty are as follows:

  • Prisons
  • Youth offender institutions
  • Secure training centres
  • Secure colleges
  • Youth offending teams
  • Probation services (including community rehabilitation companies)
  • Jobcentre plus
  • Social service authorities
  • Emergency departments
  • Urgent treatment centres; and
  • Hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care

The Secretary of State for Defence is also subject to the duty to refer in relation to members of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marine, the regular Army and the Royal Air Force.

If you are one of the above public bodies and you wish to make a referral, then please visit our referral system called ALERT.

In the event you unable to access the ALERT portal please contact Housing Needs on 01733 864064 or email us at dutytorefer@peterborough.gov.uk.

Before making a referral, a public authority must:

  • Have consent to the referral from the person(s) being referred
  • Allow the individual to identify the housing authority in England which they would like to be referred
  • Have consent that the service user's contact details can be given so the housing authority can contact them regarding the referral

You will need to provide:

  • Name, organisation and contact details of the referring agency
  • Name and contact details of the client
  • Brief details of the current situation
  • Outline of current housing position
  • Future housing requirements outlined by client
  • Confirmation that consent has been obtained from the client

Rough sleepers

Rough sleeping is a type of homelessness where someone sleeps on the street.

Our Outreach Team works around the clock to offer accommodation and support services to help people leave homelessness or rough sleeping behind.

Visit our rough sleeper support services page to find out more about our work. You can also report someone sleeping rough so we can help them.