Help for people who are, or could be, homeless

Following the Homelessness Reduction Act (2018), we now help people who are at risk of homelessness a bit differently.

Help from the Council

If you're at risk of homelessness, please contact us as soon as possible. We realise it is a worrying time and are here to help. 

You will need to complete an online referral form. This should take about 10 minutes. Once we receive the form, we will contact you within 10 working days.

Alternatively you can email housingadvice@fenland.gov.uk, call 01354 654321 or visit one of our Customer Service Centres or Community Hubs.

You'll then be contacted by someone from our housing team. They will go through an initial triage and ask for documents to support your application, such as a:

  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • evidence of household income 

After the triage is complete, you'll be assigned to a Housing Officer. They will work with you to make a Personal Housing Plan (PHP). This will list tasks for yourself and the Housing Officer to complete in order to help relieve your current housing situation.

There may be other things you can do to avoid becoming homeless.

  • Contact Shelter or Citizens Advice. They can offer useful advice to people struggling with bad housing or homelessness
  • If you're in rent arrears, you may be able to get a Discretionary Housing Payment
  • Seek debt advice from Citizens Advice or CAP
  • Contact the Trailblazer team for advice
  • Visit your local Job Centre. You may be eligible for certain welfare benefits

Rough sleeping

We work with a range of organisations to help rough sleepers and offer them a route off the streets.

If you're rough sleeping, or know someone who is, you can:

  • make a referral to Streetlink. This will alert us and local outreach services about this person
  • visit one of our Customer Service Centres or Community Hubs to make a report

During severe or very cold weather, we have a 'Severe Weather Emergency Protocol' (SWEP). This provides shelter to rough sleepers. Shelter can be accessed through the Ferry Project, the Police or ourselves. 

Duty to refer

'Public authorities' are required to notify a housing authority of service users they consider may be homeless or threatened with homeless (e.g it is likely they will become homeless within 56 days). 

Before making a referral, the authority must:

  • have consent to refer from the individual
  • allow the individual to identify which housing authority they want the notification to go to 
  • have consent from the individual that their contact details can be supplied (to allow the housing authority to contact them about their referral)

The duty to refer only applies to housing authorities in England.

Public authorities include:

PrisonsYouth Offender institutionsSecure training centres
Secure collegesYouth offending teamsProbation services (including community rehabilitation companies)
Job Centre PlusSocial service authoritiesEmergency health departments
Urgent health treatment centresHospitals in their function of providing inpatient careThe Secretary of State for deference in relation to members of the regular forces (Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and Royal Airforce)

If you are a public authority wanting to refer someone, please make an online referral or email dutytorefer@fenland.gov.uk. A member of the Housing Options team will contact you within 10 days. 

Accommodation providers

We're always open to enquiries from accommodation providers to deliver temporary accommodation services for our homeless and rough sleeper clients.  Ideally this provision would be available in and around the district of Fenland.  Please email enquiries to our procurement team at procurement@fenland.gov.uk.

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