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Luton Borough Council

Are you homeless or threatened with homelessness?

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Can you help?

Everyone is entitled to housing advice and information about homelessness, and preventing homelessness. This is available free of charge to everyone in Luton.

Our advice will include information on:

  • preventing homelessness
  • securing accommodation if homeless
  • the rights of people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • any help that is available for people who are homeless or likely to become homeless, as well as how to access that help

Find out about the steps we'll take to help you.

How we can help if you're homeless

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Am I eligible?

If you need further help, then we’ll need to decide if you’re eligible. We’ll need to look at:

  • what your immigration status is
  • if you’re normally resident in the UK

If you're ‘not eligible’ you'll be given advice about how you can find other accommodation. We’ll put you in contact with other organisations that may be able to help you.

If you have dependent or vulnerable family members, we're likely to refer you to social services who will assess your needs more closely.

Helpful guidance is available here:

Visas and immigration - GOV.UK

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Am I a priority?

You’re considered to be in priority need if:

  • you have dependent children living with you or who might reasonably be expected to live with you
  • someone you live with is pregnant
  • are vulnerable as a result of old age
  • have a mental illness or physical disability or other special reason, or someone who lives with you, or would normally live with you is vulnerable for these reasons
  • are 16 or 17 years of age
  • are homeless as a result of flood, fire or other disaster
  • are aged 18 to 20 and leaving care
  • are vulnerable as a result of leaving prison or the armed services

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Temporary accommodation

While we look in more detail at your homeless application, we may provide you with temporary accommodation.

But we don’t own many empty houses or flats, so it’s much more likely that you’ll go to another type of property for a time.

More about temporary accommodation

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Target groups and advice

We have a responsibility to help particular types of people including:

  • those who are leaving prison
  • ex-armed forces personnel
  • those who are being discharged from hospital
  • care leavers
  • people suffering from mental health
  • anyone suffering from domestic abuse

Expand this tabs below to find out how we can help people from these groups.

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If you’re leaving prison and are homeless or threatened with homelessness, then you may want to seek advice and support from our Housing Solutions service - contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.

How we can help

We’ll help to identify your support needs and work with you to relieve your homelessness by developing a personal housing plan. This will identify actions that need to be carried out by yourself and us. It may include:

  • engaging with organisations that help ex-offenders
  • looking for suitable private rented accommodation
What to bring to your housing appointment

We’ll need to determine if you’re eligible for assistance. If you’re offered an appointment you must bring with you:

  • valid passport
  • full birth certificate
  • valid immigration documents (if applicable)

Also, you will need to provide a risk assessment from your probation officer if you have one.

If you're a former member of the armed forces who is now homeless, or if you're planning to leave the armed forces and facing the threat of becoming homeless, you may wish to approach the Housing Solutions service for assistance and advice. Contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.

If you approach us for assistance, we'll consider:

  • how long you were in the armed forces and what role you had
  • whether you spent any time in a military hospital
  • if you've been issued a medical history release form and released from service on medical grounds
  • how long it's been since you left the armed services
  • whether you've been able to find and maintain your own accommodation since leaving the armed forces
  • your existing support networks
Housing register applications

If you make a housing register application you may qualify under the armed forces local residence exceptions.

If you're homeless or threatened with homelessness and are due to be discharged from hospital soon, it's important that you inform hospital staff immediately. They'll be able to arrange for appropriate support.

An assessment will take place in order to determine whether you:

  • are genuinely homeless
  • have a priority need for rehousing consideration
  • are otherwise significantly more vulnerable than an average person
  • locally connected to Luton

We're able to give housing advice and provide you with the best suited 'personal housing plan' to prevent or relieve your homelessness. We'll:

  • identify whether there is anywhere for you to return to or negotiate for your return if possible
  • work with you to obtain settled housing
  • discuss your options for housing and work with you to prevent homelessness
  • work with a range of other agencies to assess whether you are likely to need help living independently - this may include the involvement on an occupational therapist to determine your housing needs

If hostel, refuge or other forms of temporary accommodation are required, we'll identify the most suitable options and search for availability.

If you're a care leaver with a local connection to Luton, you may be able to get help with housing, although this will be dependent on your age and circumstances.

The vast majority of care leavers in Luton should not need to approach a homeless service as this will be prevented by a planned move to independence with your personal advisor from the Leaving Care team.

You may be offered short term supported housing to gain the skills to live independently and then be moved on into independent accommodation.

In some cases, if your personal advisor believes that you already have the skills to manage your own home, we may help you to move into your own independent accommodation.

However there are circumstances in which you may not meet all of the criteria.

Find out more about the care leaver's Local Offer here.

Mental ill-health can affect anyone, and people threatened with homelessness or sleeping rough face adverse weather conditions, fear and isolation. All of these can contribute to decreased mental health

We work with other relevant statutory and non-statutory service providers to take reasonable steps to prevent your homelessness and provide you with meaningful support.

There are several local organisations and mental health service that can help.

Mental health services on Luton Directory

If you’re suffering from domestic abuse, there is help available. We’ll give you advice on what to do if you are unable to stay in your home because of domestic abuse. Contact the Housing Solutions team - details at the bottom of the page.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse includes any incident of violence, threatening or controlling behaviour. The abuse can be psychological, physical, social, financial, or emotional. Domestic abuse can happen between two people who are or were intimate partners or family members, regardless of their gender or sexuality.

If you’re in fear of a partner, ex-partner or member of your family, you might be experiencing domestic abuse.

What help is available?

If you’re a woman you can contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

If you’re a man experiencing domestic abuse you can contact the Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.

If you're in a same-sex relationship you can call the National LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline (GALOP) on 0800 999 5428.

  • Police (emergency): 999
  • Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90
  • Childline: 0800 1111

All these services offer you the opportunity to talk confidentially to someone about your situation and find out what your options are. There's a wide range of support available including:

  • advocacy
  • safety planning
  • peer support
  • safety measures in the home
  • children’s therapeutic interventions

They also offer a programme for perpetrators of domestic abuse who want help in changing their behaviour.

You can apply to Luton for assistance to remain safely in your home. These include options like:

  • carrying out safety work such as:
    • new locks
    • fire proof letter boxes
    • personal alarm system
  • looking at what legal action you can take against the perpetrator such as injunctions or other orders to keep them away

If it's not safe for you to remain in your home we'll give you advice and assistance to find somewhere else to live, and in some cases you may be entitled to emergency accommodation.

You may be asked for supporting evidence, which could include details and dates of incidents. You can bring a friend or an adviser with you for support.

You're strongly advised not to give up your home permanently until you've spoken to an adviser and considered all your options.

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Contact info
Housing Solutions team
Luton Council, Town Hall, George Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 2BQ
Tel: 01582 510371

[email protected]

 

© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ