If you’re homeless or at risk of becoming homeless we urge you to contact our Housing Options Team for help. Our team of experienced officers can provide you with advice and assistance to resolve your housing issue whether that is to help you to remain in your current accommodation or assist you to find a suitable alternative.
Who to contact if you are homeless
Call our Housing Options Team during office hours on 0300 123 5017 (Option 1 or 2).
At weekends and when the office is closed you can call us on 0300 123 5025
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.
You can also obtain help and advice by contacting;
New legal duties from April 2018
From April 2018, the amount of support and assistance we can provide to individuals and households who are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness will increase due to new legislation called the Homelessness Reduction Act.
This legislation changes the way Homelessness Services are run and how applications are assessed across the country. The new legislation adds several new legal duties which all housing authorities must implement.
Duty to prevent homelessness
Where we have determined 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 or discharged 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 pass into 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 new main 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 for resolving 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.
Enhanced existing duties
In addition to the new legal duties, the Homelessness Reduction Act also enhances some existing duties. One such example of this is that under the Housing Act 1996 the Council must provide you with free advice and information about homelessness.
This is enhanced by the new 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.
Future new legal duties
Further to the new and enhanced legal duties commencing in April 2018 the Homelessness Reduction Act has also made provision to include a “Duty to Refer” for specified Public Bodies. This new legal duty will involve those agencies to be pro active in the prevention and relief of homelessness across the country.
This part of the Homelessness Reduction Act is not due to come into force until October 2018 but the Housing Options Team is already working to enhance the links we have with all public bodies operating in Cheshire East.