If you’re homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, contact our Housing Options Team. If you're not yet homeless, we may be able to find a way for you to stay in your current home. For ways we can help, see preventing and relieving homelessness.  

If you are concerned about someone sleeping on the streets, see rough sleeping.

Who to contact if you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless

Call our Housing Options Team during on 0300 123 5017 (Option 2) Monday - Friday 10.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm and 4.30pm.

Visit us during office hours at our Crewe or Macclesfield Customer Contact Centres or you can speak to someone from our Housing Options Team over the phone at any Cheshire East Library.

If you are not eligible for state housing support we will tell you about other agencies who can help.

We may not be able to help if you have made yourself intentionally homeless.

You can also obtain help and advice by contacting:

  • Shelter on 0808 800 4444 or in an emergency call them on 0808 1644 6600
  • Citizens Advice on 0800 144 8848 
  • Cheshire Without Abuse on 0300 123 5101 if you are experiencing domestic abuse and must flee your home to a place of safety

Our legal duties

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness and you contact Cheshire East Council, the Housing Options Team must respond in accordance with the Homelessness Reduction Act.

By law, some groups of people are counted as having a priority need

Duty to prevent homelessness

Where we have information that a person / household is legally threatened with homelessness in the next 56 days and eligible for assistance according to the Housing Act 1996 we will work with you to prevent you from becoming homeless.

Once you’ve been assessed you will receive a legal decision notice to explain that you’re now being helped under a Prevention Duty. You will also be provided with a further notice when that duty is brought to an end and you have the right to request a review of any duty decisions made throughout the process. If we’re unable to resolve your housing issue before you become homeless, you will be entitled to the Relief Duty and a further letter explaining this process will be given to you which is also subject to a review if you request it.

Duty to relieve homelessness

This duty is for people / households who have already become homeless or it can come after a period of prevention has been attempted but was not successful. We will again work with you for a period of 56 days to resolve your housing issue.

If we have a reason to believe you would be within a Priority Need category you will be provided with an offer of emergency accommodation but we cannot guarantee this offer will always be within Cheshire East or in your current locality but we will of course take your needs into account.

If we’re unable to prevent or relieve your homelessness the Housing Options Team will assess if the main housing duty is owed to you. The main housing duty is owed to individuals / households who are assessed to be in priority need and have not made themselves homelessness intentionally as determined by the Housing Act 1996 (Part VII). If you are owed this duty any accommodation provided to you under the Relief duty will continue.

Personalised Housing Plans

With both of the duties above, the Homelessness Reduction Act requires the Housing Options Team to provide you with a Personalised Housing Plan. This plan, along with the Housing Advice letter which will come along with it, will provide information on our assessment of your household, your circumstances and any support needs that you may have.

It is also designed to be a tool to help you resolve your housing situation. During your discussions with your dedicated Housing Officer you will discuss and agree a list of actions tailored to your situation which both you and the Officer will take to prevent or relieve your homelessness.

Free access to advice

Under the Housing Act 1996 the Council must provide you with free advice and information about homelessness.

The Homelessness Reduction Act by requiring the Council to provide bespoke advice to several key groups of individuals which may require further assistance if they’re threatened with or become homeless.

Duty to refer

Some specific Public Bodies also have a "Duty to Refer". “Duty to Refer” for specified Public Bodies. This legal duty requires certain agencies to be pro active in the prevention and relief of homelessness across the country.

The following organisations are required to refer any person/household they believe to be homeless or at risk of homelessness to the Housing Options team:

Youth offenders institutions
Secure training centres
Youth offending teams
Probations services
Jobcentre plus
Social services
Emergency departments
Urgent treatment centres

If you are from one of the above agencies and you know of a person or household whom are homeless or at risk of homelessness please contact the team ideally via the following link https://hpa2.org/refer/CHEAST


Telephone: 0300 123 5017 (option 2) Monday - Friday 10.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.30pm.

Email: dutytorefer@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Out Of Hours Emergencies

In the case of an emergency outside of our normal office hours please contact 0300 123 5025.

Our Domestic Abuse Customer Commitment

We are committed to supporting those who suffer from domestic abuse. How we aim to do this, and what to expect from our service, can be found in our Domestic Abuse Customer Commitment (PDF, 336KB)

Page last reviewed: 15 May 2023