Homelessness: Prevention & Relief Duties
Reporting as "homeless" does not mean that the Council will automatically provide emergency accommodation or a property. The Council is governed by legislation in regard to threatened or actual homelessness and has to follow the necessary statutes.
Another myth is that any accommodation is "free". All accommodation has to be paid for; this may be through the payment of benefits, such as housing benefit, but it falls to the individual to take responsibility to organise any claim.
A final myth is that the Council has to provide a "council" house to anyone who reports as homeless. This is not the case because:
- the Council does not have any housing of its own (it is all provided by registered providers),
- any social/affordable housing is subject to a choice based lettings process (the individual has to bid on properties) and
- renting in the private rental sector and/or outside the local Boston area may be the best solution for some cases.
Threatened and actual homelessness
We assist and provide advice to people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.
Unfortunately households do become homeless which can be very frightening and traumatic. The Housing Needs team at the Council will do everything possible to advise and assist you through the process and identify options with you.
Our first priority is to prevent homelessness so it is vital that you contact us as early as possible in order for us to assist you.
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 came into force on 3 April 2018 and changed existing homelessness protection in a number of ways. These include:
- A personalised housing plan with actions to be undertaken by you, the applicant, and the council
- An extension in homelessness prevention consideration up to 56 days
- Statutory prevention and relief duties to try to both prevent and deal with actual homelessness
- An information and advice service
- An application to be considered for the local housing register to allow a bid to be placed for local social/affordable housing.
We will ask that you engage with our advice team to complete necessary applications and give relevant information to allow a joint approach to be made to investigate all available options to alleviate your housing issues.
Boston Borough Council is required to provide information to the Homelessness Case Level Information Collection (H-CLIC) under statutory homelessness legislation.