Are You Facing Homelessness?
If you are homeless or facing homelessness, you can contact a housing options officer for advice and assistance.
- Initial enquiries
- What happens next
- Priority groups
- People who are intentionally homeless
- If you have no local connection
- Entitled to assistance and emergency accommodation
- How long will this all take
- Reviewing the decision
- Permanent housing
- Mole Valley homelessness statistics
Please call us on 01306 885001 and ask to speak to a housing options officer. If you need to come and see us, we can make an appointment for you. These are available from 9am until 4pm, Monday to Friday. It is not possible to arrange an appointment between 12pm and 2pm.
If you have nowhere to stay and the offices are closed please call our emergency out of hours number 01372 376533
If you have any of these documents, you must bring them with you:
- notice to quit
- mortgage details and associated correspondence
- court papers
- passport or other proof that you are entitled to live in England
- pregnancy certificate
- proof of where you have lived during the last five years
- your tenancy agreement
If you are homeless and 16 or 17 years old, please contact the Youth Homelessness Prevention Service on 01483 519198 and outside of office hours 01483 517898 or email email@example.com
What happens next
Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) will consider the information and carry out any other enquiries. A decision will then be made as to whether you are entitled to help. MVDC cannot provide help for some people, for example those who have no right to live in the UK.
If you are eligible for assistance, MVDC will then decide whether it agrees that you are homeless or about to become homeless and whether you are in a priority group.
Priority groups are:
- families with dependent children
- pregnant women
- people who are otherwise considered by MVDC to be vulnerable, e.g. someone with a physical disability
- people who have become homeless following an emergency, such as a flood or fire
You may also be considered to be homeless if the Council considers you to be vulnerable as a result of the following;
- had to leave your home because of violence or harassment
- have been in care
- were in the armed forces
- have been in a young offenders' institute or prison in the past
If it seems that you are homeless or about to become homeless, Mole Valley District Council will need to add questions to establish:
- Why you became homeless
- Whether you could have done anything to stop yourself becoming homeless
- Whether you have a local connection with Mole Valley
- If homelessness can be prevented
People who are intentionally homeless
If MVDC can offer advice that will help to prevent you becoming homeless, then this will be done. You will be expected to take reasonable steps to secure the accommodation you have already got.
If MVDC agrees that you are homeless, but believes that you could have prevented your homelessness and did not do so, or if alternative accommodation is available or has been found for you but you do not accept it, then you may be regarded as intentionally homeless.
Being intentionally homeless does not necessarily mean that you wanted to be homeless. It includes failing to do something that has resulted in you losing your home or not getting another one.
If MVDC believes that you are intentionally homeless, even if you are in a priority group, you will only be offered temporary accommodation for long enough to give you time to find something else. This short term help may be in a reception centre or by helping you to find private rented housing.
If you have no local connection
A local connection with a particular area means that you:
- have family associations in that area
- normally live there by choice
- work there
If MVDC accepts that you are entitled to accommodation but have a connection with an area that is not Mole Valley, we may refer your application to an area where you do have a connection. If there are several other such areas, you can say which one you would prefer to be referred to.
Living in forces accommodation or staying in a hospital or any place that is not your home, but that you only occupy in order to receive some kind or care or support, does not count as a local connection.
Entitled to assistance and emergency accommodation
Yes, if MVDC is satisfied that:
- you are homeless or are about to become homeless
- you are in a priority group
- you did not become homeless intentionally
- and you have a local connection
You will be told in writing that MVDC is satisfied with your circumstances.
You will also be told how MVDC can help you. This could include:
- nomination to a private sector tenancy (in some cases the council may also be able to help with a rent deposit guarantee)
- nomination to a housing association tenancy
- emergency accommodation that may be a Bed and Breakfast or similar, owned by MVDC (see 'Pets and Emergency Accommodation Guidance' in 'Downloads' for more information)
- MVDC will do its best to meet reasonable preferences about the location of the accommodation, but housing is scarce and opportunities do not necessarily arise in the right place at the right time. If the only option is to go somewhere that is not your preference, you may have the chance to move later on, but that will also depend on availability. See MVDC's policy on the suitability of emergency accommodation for more information (see 'Downloads').
How long will this take
It will depend on the circumstances of the case, for example how many enquiries have to be made and how quickly the answers come. MVDC would normally expect to be able to give you a firm answer within 30 days of your application.
Reviewing the decision
If you disagree with MVDC's decision about your homelessness, you have a right to ask for a review. The request must be lodged, verbally or in writing, within 21 days of the date of the letter telling you about the MVDC's decision. There is a separate leaflet available to download 'Requesting a Review of Your Homelessness Decision', which describes the process in more detail.
Homeless people can apply for permanent housing. You must first apply to go on the Housing Register.
Being offered help as a homeless person makes you a qualifying person for the register, but it does not give you automatic access to a permanent tenancy. You have to qualify in accordance with MVDC's allocations policy.
It is important to complete the housing register application form and to keep your registration up to date. If you do not, you may delay the consideration of your application for eventual permanent housing.
Mole Valley Homelessness Statistics
Information on Mole Valley's homelessness performance is reported quarterly to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). For further details on Mole Valley's performance and also comparative information on other local authorities, visit the GOV.UK website (see 'Internet Links').