If you are threatened with homelessness in the following 56 days the council will treat you as if you are homeless.
You are homeless if you are without any accommodation, but you can also be considered as homeless if you are not literally without a roof over your head, but are unable to remain where you are living, or you live somewhere which is totally unsuitable for your needs.
If it is not reasonable for you to stay in your home because of violence, or the threat of violence, from any other person, you may be treated as homeless. This could include domestic violence or threats from a neighbour.
Are you in priority need?
You will be considered to be in priority need if you:
- Have dependant children living with you
- Are pregnant or live with someone who is pregnant
- Are homeless as a result of a flood, fire or other disaster
- Are classified as “vulnerable” or are living with someone who is vulnerable due to such things as old age, ill-health or a disability, leaving the armed forces, coming out of prison, fleeing violence or having been in care or fostered
- If you are 16 or 17
- If you are aged 18-21 and were in care until you were 16
Are you intentionally homeless?
The council might decide that you are “intentionally homeless” (contributed to your homelessness) if:
- You had somewhere else that was reasonable for you to live, but you chose to leave or to give up the property
- You have to leave somewhere, where you can continue to live, and you are only leaving to get some help from the council
- You were helped to find suitable and available accommodation by the council as a result of a previous homeless application but you failed to take this up
- You have contrived your eviction by arranging with your landlord that they tell you to leave
You should not be normally found to be intentionally homeless if:
- You left home because you felt threatened with violence
- Your home was repossessed due to arrears which arose because you could not afford to pay your rent or mortgage. You need to show you were in financial hardship and there was no way your income could cover your rent or mortgage payment
- The conditions in your home were so bad that you could not remain and it would have been unreasonable to expect you to stay
- You lost your home through someone else’s actions which you did not know about or had no control over
Do you have a local connection with Southampton?
The council will look at whether you have a connection to the Southampton area. If you have no local connection with Southampton, then you can be referred to an area where you do have a local connection.
You will have a local connection if you:
- Have lived in Southampton for 6 months out of the last year or 3 out of the last 5 years
- Work in Southampton
- Want to live near a close relative who has lived in Southampton for more than 5 years
- Need to live in Southampton for a particular reason such as you or your family needing to go to a hospital here
Are you eligible for assistance?
The council will give consideration to whether you are eligible for assistance. This means that we will have to make enquiries into your immigration status, or the arrangements you made before entering the country.
What help will you receive from the council if you meet the criteria?
If the council decides that you are homeless, eligible for assistance, in priority need and did not become homeless intentionally, then you will either be housed in temporary accommodation until permanent accommodation becomes available, or you will be offered assistance with a private let. If you do not meet the criteria then you will still be offered advice and assistance, but the council might not be able to offer you housing.
Will your application be treated fairly?
Southampton City Council will always treat your application fairly; you will be interviewed in private and given a chance to say what has happened to you. You will be notified in writing of any decision taken. If you need an interpreter or request a decision letter in a different language this will be provided for you.
Do you have a right to disagree?
If you disagree with the decision on your homelessness application, you will be able to request an independent review by an officer who was not involved in the decision on your first application.