Worried about becoming homeless?
If you think you could become homeless you should contact our Housing Options Team as soon as possible by telephoning (01248) 752200 or visiting the Council Offices in Llangefni.
If you could lose your home in the next 56 days we must help you to save your home or help you to find somewhere else to live. Depending on your situation, you may also be entitled to temporary accommodation.
The Council’s main aim, of course, is to prevent people and families becoming homeless. Contacting us as soon as possible gives us the best chance to help you stay in your home. We can often help you rescue the situation, as there are ways to help.
We can also help you find housing elsewhere, and make sure you get help from other agencies, for example if you need help with getting benefits so you can pay your rent, or if you need support to keep a tenancy.
You should contact the Housing Options Team and ask for help if:
- you are staying with family or friends and have been asked to leave
- your landlord has asked you to leave or threatened to give you notice
- you are having difficulties with your tenancy, or
- you may become homeless for any other reason.
Am I homeless?
You are homeless if you don’t have anywhere to stay.
Legally you are also homeless if you:
- have no legal right to stay where you are living
- have somewhere to live but you cannot get into the property
- have somewhere to stay but someone else who normally lives with you as part of your family can’t stay there. Or you have somewhere to stay but someone else who could reasonably be expected to live with you can’t stay there, for example your child(ren), partner or carer
- have somewhere to live but it isn’t reasonable for you to stay there. For example, if you (or a household member) are likely to suffer violence, abuse, threatening or intimidating behaviour. Or if you genuinely cannot afford your housing costs. Or if anything else means it’s not reasonable for you to stay there, for example very bad conditions or very serious overcrowding
- have a boat, caravan or mobile home but you have nowhere you can legally put it.
Am I eligible for help?
Some people can’t get help under the homeless legislation because of their immigration status.
Most people are eligible for help. It’s likely you’re eligible if you:
- are a British citizen and habitually reside in the UK
- usually live in the UK and immigration control does not apply to you
- usually live in the UK and immigration control does apply to you, but your right to stay is not based on conditions
- have been given refugee status as a result of an asylum application
If we decide you are not eligible for help, we’ll still give you advice, for example about help from agencies such as the UK Border Agency, specialist immigration advisors, or Social Services.
We will need to see evidence of your identity and nationality, for example your passport, residence card, or worker authorisation certificate.
How will the Council help me?
If you ask for help and you are either homeless or we think you may become homeless in the next 56 days, we will assess your situation to decide what help we can give you. We will give you a written copy of how we have assessed your case and how we have agreed to help you. We will also tell you what action you need to take.
Legally our assessment must cover certain things, including:
- what you want to achieve from our help
- what kind of housing you need
- what support you need (if any)
- what the Council must legally do for you.
We will agree a plan with you about how we can prevent you becoming homeless or how we can help you find somewhere to live.
Will the Council provide me housing?
In some situations the Council must actually provide you with temporary housing (or make sure someone else provides housing).
You will be entitled to temporary housing if:
- the Council has reason to believe you may be eligible for help, homeless, and in ‘priority need’.
Permanent social housing isn’t available under the homelessness procedure, as long term Council and housing association homes are allocated under the Council’s Housing Register waiting list.
Because of the shortage of social housing we often help people to find a private letting. The law says we can do this, as long as we think the property is suitable for your needs. We will usually find you accommodation that is likely last at least six months.
Even if we decide that we do not have to provide you with temporary accommodation, we must legally take ‘reasonable steps’ to help you. The action we take will depend on your situation. We are also allowed to take the resources the Council has into account. There is a lot we can usually do to help you find a solution to your housing problem.
What kind of housing do you offer?
If the Council must provide you accommodation because you are homeless (see above) it is our decision what housing we offer, and where it is located. We try our best to arrange housing near to where you previously lived, but this is not always possible.
We have to make sure that any housing offered to you is suitable. Examples of the kinds of housing we arrange for homeless people include:
- supported accommodation
- bed and breakfasts
- privately leased accommodation
- women’s refuges
We often try to find people privately rented self-contained accommodation, especially if this is what they need and is what will solve their housing problem.
There are legal rules about when we can consider properties suitable for your needs. We can give you more details about this if you ask us.
Am I in priority need?
You are in priority need if you or a member of your household:
- have dependent children
- are pregnant
- are vulnerable as a result of old age, illness, disability, or vulnerable because of any other special reason
- are aged 16 or 17 years of age
- are aged 18 to 20 and were in care or fostered when under 18 years of age;
- are aged 18 to 20 and are at risk of sexual or financial exploitation
- are homeless because of domestic abuse
- have been homeless since leaving the Armed Forces
- have a local connection with Anglesey and are vulnerable because of having been in prison, custody or youth detention
- are homeless because of an emergency such as flood, fire or other disaster.
If we need to make a decision about vulnerability your Housing Options Officer will usually need information about your situation, for example a letter from your doctor or social worker. We may arrange a joint assessment to be carried out with social services.
If you are not in priority need we can still give you help and advice to prevent you becoming homeless or help you to find housing.
We may have an ongoing duty to house you (under section 75 of the Housing Wales Act 2014), for example if you:
- are in priority need
- remain homeless for 56 days after asking for our help
- did not become homeless intentionally (see below), and
- the Council have not resolved your homelessness, for example by making sure you have housing that will last for at least six months within 56 days of you becoming homeless.
Am I intentionally homeless?
If you are in priority need we may look at whether you caused your own homelessness. If you are intentionally homeless the Council will not have to provide you housing on an ongoing basis. Rather we will only have to provide housing for such time as we think will give you a reasonable opportunity of finding your own housing.
You may be found intentionally homeless if you have lost your accommodation because of your own actions, by:
- deliberately doing something (or failing to do something) that led to you losing your previous housing
- “arranging” to become homeless, for example by asking a landlord to serve notice so you could make a homeless application or apply for social housing.
You may be intentionally homeless if you:
- did not make rent payments, even though your housing costs were affordable and you could have made the payments
- lost your home because of anti-social behaviour or because you broke the rules of your tenancy
- did not act on advice given to you to prevent you becoming homeless
You will not be found intentionally homeless if:
- it was not reasonable for you to continue living at the housing you lost
- you could not stay at your last home because of violence or abuse
- your home was lost because of something somebody else (rather than you) did, and you did not agree or go along with the other person’s actions.
If we do decide you are intentionally homeless and in priority need, we will not have to provide you with temporary housing on an ongoing basis. However we will usually have to provide you with temporary accommodation for a reasonable time.
If you are intentionally homeless we can still give you help and advice to prevent you becoming homeless and/or to help you find housing.
Do I have a local connection?
You can apply to us for help even if you don’t have a connection with Anglesey.
If we decide you have a priority need we may look to see if you have a local connection with the Anglesey area, so we can decide what legal duty we owe you.
You will usually have a local connection if you:
- have lived in Anglesey for 6 out of the last 12 months, or for 3 out of the last 5 years
- have close family (for example mother, father, adult children or sibling) who has lived in the county for the last 5 years
- are employed in the county
- have special circumstances, for example specialist medical treatment only available in Anglesey.
We may refer your case to another Council if you or a member of your household:
- are unintentionally homeless
- are in priority need
- do not have a local connection with Anglesey
- have a local connection with another council area
- will not run a risk of abuse in the other council area if you return there.
Even if you don’t have a local connection with Anglesey we have to assess your situation and check whether we need to provide you with temporary accommodation (see above).
How do I get help with homelessness?
To apply as homeless please contact the Council’s Housing Option Team. You can telephone them on (01248) 752200 or visit them at the Council Offices in Llangefni.
If you find yourself homeless outside of normal office hours please telephone (01248) 750057 and a recorded message will give details of our Out of Hours Homeless Helpline. They will then check whether you must be provided temporary housing.
We will usually give you advice when you first contact us and also make an appointment for you to see a Housing Options Officer in person. We will ask you questions about your situation, so we help you, and so we can decide if we owe you a legal duty. You must legally tell us the truth and let us know of any relevant changes in your situation.
If you would prefer to speak to someone of the same sex as you, please mention this when you contact us.
We may need to speak to other people about your situation, for example your mortgage company, previous landlord(s), to:
- check that what you have told us is true
- check how your problems were cause
- to look into your situation, so we can decide what we must legally do to help you, including for example to decide if you are homeless, in priority need or intentionally homeless.
What should I bring to the interview?
It is important you bring as much information as you can about your housing situation to your interview. When you make the appointment we will give you examples of what you need to bring, for example:
- Identification (birth certificate, drivers licence, passport)
- Proof of income / benefits (current award letters from DWP, bank or building society statements)
- Proof of residency (gas or electric bill, home phone bill)
- Other relevant documents (for example any letters or court papers from your landlord or mortgage lender).
We will sometimes ask you for other documents, for example your tenancy agreement, notices served by your landlord etc.
If you need an interpreter, sign language interpreter or an induction loop, please contact us before your interview so this can be arranged.
When will a decision be made?
Your caseworker will try to send you a copy of their initial assessment in writing within 10 days of you contacting us.
In certain situations we must legally review how we have assessed your case, for example if you actually become homeless. If we review our assessment we will send you a letter to confirm the result of the review. We will also tell you if we make any negative decision on your case, and include details of how you can ask us to reconsider certain types of decision (see below).
If we decide that a legal duty the Council owes you has ended we will write to you and let you know. We will also include details of how you can ask us to reconsider our decision.
What if I disagree with your decision?
You have a legal right to ask the Council to reconsider certain types of decision, including any decision that:
- you are ineligible for help;
- one of the following duties is not owed to you or has ended:
the duty to prevent homelessness. This is a duty to help secure that suitable accommodation does not cease to be available for your occupation. The Council owes this duty when it is satisfied you are threatened with homelessness and eligible for help;
the interim duty to secure temporary accommodation. The Council owes this duty when we have reason to believe you may be homeless, may be eligible for help, and may have a priority need;
the duty to help homeless applicants secure accommodation. This is a duty to help secure that suitable accommodation is available for your occupation. The Council owes this duty when it is satisfied you are homeless and eligible for help (the “section 73” duty);
the duty to secure accommodation for homeless applicants in priority need when the section 73 duty ends. The Council owes this duty when it is satisfied that the criteria listed in section 75 of the 2014 Act apply;
- reasonable steps to help secure accommodation were taken during the period in which the Council owed a duty under section 73 to help to secure that suitable accommodation would be available for your occupation, where the section 73 duty has come to end, either because a period of 56 days has ended or because the Council decided that reasonable steps to help were taken before the 56 day section 73 period ended;
- accommodation offered in connection with any homelessness duty was suitable.
If you want to ask for a review you must do so within 21 days of being notified of the decision (or within such longer time as we allow in writing).
If you do not receive the decision letter the Council may treat you as having received it because we make decisions available for you to collect from the Housing Services reception at the Council Offices in Llangefni.
Reviews are carried out by a senior officer who was not involved in the original decision. We must usually make the review decision within 8 weeks from when you asked for the review, unless you agree to an extension.
You, or someone on your behalf, would be given the chance to provide information or evidence you wish us to take into account when making the review decision.
We notify applicants of review decisions in writing, and you have a right of appeal to the county court on the grounds that we have made a legal mistake.