Seek help about homelessness

Homelessness legislation changed with effect from Monday 27 April 2015.

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days, we are required by law to find out more about your situation and work with you to prevent or relieve your homelessness.  This process is started when you ask us for assistance with your housing situation.  Each case is different, and the enquiries and assistance we provide will depend on your circumstances.

If you are homeless, eligible, in priority need and have nowhere to live temporarily whilst we work with you to relieve your homelessness, we will make sure that you are offered somewhere suitable to live in the short-term while we find out more about your situation and work with you to secure a suitable housing option.

If you think you are at risk of losing your home,  or are homeless now, it's important that you seek advice from the Council’s Housing Service at the earliest opportunity.  The Housing Service employs officers who have responsibility for giving advice and assistance on housing matters and will actively work with you to either prevent or relieve homelessness to allow you to either remain where you are, or secure a suitable alternative housing solution.  You can contact us using the details on the right of this page.

Homeless in an Emergency?  If you find that you are actually homeless outside of normal office hours, you can contact the Out of Hours service on 0845 6027039.  We can only give advice in emergencies – if you have somewhere safe to stay, even if it is temporary, you should contact the Council’s Housing Service during normal office hours.

You are homeless if:

  • You have nowhere to live legally anywhere in the World
  • It is agreed that it is not reasonable for you to live in your home
  • You have somewhere to live but you cannot get access to it
  • You face violence/harassment, or are at risk of violence/harassment
  • You live in a place like a houseboat or caravan, and there is nowhere for you to moor or park it so you can live in it

You may be threatened with homelessness if you are going to lose your home within 56 days.  You may be asked to show us proof of your homelessness, e.g. the notice served by your landlord.   We and our partners will work with you to try and prevent you from becoming homeless.

We may not be able to help if:

  • You haven’t lived in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for the last 5 years, and you are not considered to be a settled resident here
  • You are a European national in breach of a “Residence Directive"
  • You have claimed asylum since arriving in this country from abroad or as you entered this country and your application is still being considered by the Home Office
  • You are an illegal immigrant
  • You have overstayed your leave to live in the UK
  • You have limited leave to remain in this country (for example students or visitors), and are not allowed to claim public help with money or housing

If you are an asylum seeker and not eligible for housing, we can still give you advice about other agencies who might be able to help you.

If you have a local connection to another council’s area (and no local connection in Powys), then we may refer your homelessness application to the other council.

Local Connection with Powys

You have a local connection if you have:

  • Lived in Powys for 3 years out of the last 5 years
  • Lived in Powys for 6 months out of the last 12 months
  • Stable employment in PowysClose relatives who have lived in Powys for the last 5 years
  • Any special reasons which we accept make you an exception to these rules

You may be in priority need if you are:

  • A pregnant woman or a person with whom she resides or might reasonably be expected to reside
  • A person with whom a dependent child resides or might reasonably be expected to reside
  • A person –

i)             Who is vulnerable as a result of some special reason (for example: old age, physical or mental illness or physical or mental disability), or

ii)            With whom a person who falls within sub-paragraph (i) resides or might reasonably be expected to reside

  • A person –

i)             who is homeless or threatened with homelessness as a result of an emergency such as flood, fire or other disaster, or

ii)            with whom a person who falls within sub-paragraph (i) resides or might reasonably be expected to reside

  • A person –

i)             who is homeless as a result of being subject to domestic abuse, or

ii)            with whom a person who falls within sub-paragraph (i) resides (other than the abuser) or might reasonably be expected to reside

  • A person –

i)             who is aged 16 or 17 when the person applies to a local housing authority for accommodation or help in obtaining or retaining accommodation, or

ii)            with whom a person who falls within sub-paragraph (i) resides or might reasonably be expected to reside

  • A person –

(i)            who has attained the age of 18, when the person applies to a local housing authority for accommodation or help in obtaining or retaining accommodation, but not the age of 21, who is at particular risk of sexual or financial exploitation, or

(ii)          with whom a person who falls within sub-paragraph (i) resides (other than an exploiter or potential exploiter) or might reasonably be expected to reside

  • A person –

(i)            who has attained the age of 18, when the person applies to a local housing authority for accommodation or help in obtaining or retaining accommodation, but not the age of 21, who was looked after, accommodated or fostered at any time while under the age of 18, or

(ii)          with whom a person who falls within sub-paragraph i) resides or might reasonably be expected to reside

  • A Person –

i)          who has served in the regular armed forces of the Crown who has been homeless since leaving those forces, or

ii)         with whom a person who falls within sub-paragraph (i) resides or might reasonably be expected to reside

  • A person who has a local connection with the area of the local authority and who is vulnerable as a result of one of the following reasons –

i)             having served a custodial sentence within the meaning of Section 76 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000,

ii)            having been remanded in or committed to custody by an order of a court, or

(iii)          having been remanded to youth detention accommodation  under Section 91(4) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012,or a person with whom such a person resides or might reasonably be expected to reside

Applying the "Test of Intentionality"

This Notice is to advise you that with effect from WEDNESDAY 1st JULY 2015, We will be applying the "Test of Intentionality"

NOTICE TO PERSONS APPROACHING THE COUNCIL FOR ASSISTANCE WHEN HOMELESS OR THREATENED WITH HOMELESSNESS

New Housing legislation, HOUSING (WALES) ACT 2014 came into force in Wales with effect from 27TH APRIL 2015. This significantly changes the law around how Local Housing Authorities deal with applications from persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

A specific change relates to persons who the Local Authority may decide, after investigation of the facts, have made themselves intentionally homeless. We currently assess intentionality and will continue to do so for all client groups identified below.

This Notice is to advise you that with effect from WEDNESDAY 1st JULY 2015, We will be applying the "Test of Intentionality" to the following client groups:

· A pregnant woman or a person with whom she resides or might reasonably be expected to reside;

· A person with whom a dependent child resides or might reasonably be expected to reside;

· A person who is vulnerable as a result of some special reason (for example: old age, physical or mental illness or physical or mental disability), or with whom a person who falls within sub-paragraph (i) resides or might reasonably be expected to reside

· A person who is homeless or threatened with homelessness as a result of an emergency such as flood, fire or other disaster, or with whom a person who falls within sub-paragraph (i) resides or might reasonably be expected to reside.

· A person who is homeless as a result of being subject to domestic abuse, or

with whom a person who falls within sub-paragraph (i) resides (other than the abuser) or might reasonably be expected to reside

· A person who has attained the age of 18, when the person applies to a local housing authority for accommodation or help in obtaining or retaining accommodation, but not the age of 21, who is at particular risk of sexual or financial exploitation, or with whom a person who falls within sub-paragraph (i) resides (other than an exploiter or potential exploiter) or might reasonably be expected to reside;

· A person who has attained the age of 18, when the person applies to a local housing authority for accommodation or help in obtaining or retaining accommodation, but not the age of 21, who was looked after, accommodated or fostered at any time while under the age of 18.

A person who has served in the regular armed forces of the Crown who has been homeless since leaving, or with whom a person who falls within sub-paragraph (i) resides or might reasonably be expected to reside

· A person who has a local connection with the area of the local authority and who is vulnerable as a result of one of the following reasons –

· Having served a custodial sentence within the meaning of Section 76 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000,

· Having been remanded in or committed to custody by an order of a court, or

· Having been remanded to youth detention accommodation under Section 91(4) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012,or a person with whom such a person resides or might reasonably be expected to reside

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING THIS NOTICE, PLEASE CONTACT THE HOUSING DEPARTMENT 

Interim / Temporary Accommodation

If you are homeless, eligible, in priority need and don’t have or cannot arrange somewhere to stay temporarily (eg with family or friends), we will find somewhere for you to live in the short-term whilst we work with you to relieve your homelessness.

Accommodation Use
Bed and Breakfast This is only used when there is nowhere else available.
Interim / Temporary Accommodation We have our own interim/temporary accommodation catering for all kinds of homeless people. The interim/temporary accommodation is usually located in the main population centres.
Refuges We work closely with Montgomeryshire family Crisis Centres and Women’s Aid.

 

We also have agreements/arrangements with other organisations in Powys who may provide interim/temporary accommodation on our behalf.

Many agencies work together to make sure that all interim/temporary accommodation is of a reasonable quality.

Shelter Cymru, Social Services, Public Protection, the Health Authority and the Education Service are some of the organisations who help us, ensuring that families and individuals have the help and support they need, no matter how short their stay may be.

If you remain eligible and comply with licence/tenancy conditions/residency rules, we’ll make sure that you have short-term housing until by working together we can secure suitable social housing or private rented sector accommodation for you.

Re-housing options

The Council and its partners will work with you to secure a suitable housing option – this may be a Council tenancy, a tenancy with a Housing Association, or a tenancy with a private landlord.

Please refer to our Allocation Policy, which can be found within the Apply for Council Housing page for full details.

We may nominate you to a Housing Association.

If you feel that the property you are offered is not suitable for you, you have the right to ask for a review.

A Housing Management & Options Officer will discuss with you the options available and work with you to secure something suitable, including the possibility of shared accommodation.  We will listen to your favoured option regarding housing and will wherever possible work to achieve this with you.  However, the Housing Management & Options Officer will advise you if your favoured option is not achievable and why and continue to work with you on an alternative solution.

Private Rented Access Scheme in Powys

The Private Rented Access Scheme (PRAS) is available to households that the Council has accepted as homeless. With the introduction of the new Housing [Wales] Act 2014,  councils are now able to offer suitable private rented accommodation to homeless households, instead of social housing (council or housing association).

The Private Rented Access Scheme in Powys can support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and are willing to consider housing in the private rented sector. We work with clients and landlords to find, create and sustain tenancies in the private rented sector and by supporting clients to overcome financial, structural and personal barriers.

Finding your own private rented accommodation could give you greater choice about where you live. With this scheme, the Council will also help you with the costs of moving.

How the scheme works:

  • You choose the private rented accommodation you wish to live in, including the location and type of accommodation – or the Council can offer to help to find properties through the scheme.
  • There is no restriction as to the location of the accommodation – it is possible to choose a property in any area of Powys, provided it is affordable and the correct size for your household.
  • The Council will pay up to 4 weeks rent, directly to the landlord, to cover the cost of the deposit/rent in advance – you do not need to pay this back to the Council. The amount we can pay is based on the Local Housing Allowance (LHA). This is an amount set nationally which sets a maximum amount that can be paid in Housing Benefit.
  • The Council can offer you help with moving and maintaining your tenancy.
  • To qualify you must be homeless, this includes people who currently have accommodation but are at risk of losing it.
  • Have a local connection.

Who would find the PRAS useful?

  • Someone looking for support to find a private rented home
  • Services supporting people into the private rented sector
  • Landlords and Letting Agents looking to work with or receive support from the Private Rented Access Scheme
  • Landlords wishing to advertise their rental properties for free.

If you would like to be considered for the Private Rented Access Scheme or would like further information on this scheme, please contact us by telephone or email on 01597 827464 or housing@powys.gov.uk, or come along to one of our surgeries:

 

MONDAYS – fortnightly per month

L’Arche,  Wheat Street, Brecon [opposite the cinema]

From 11am to 2.30pm

By appointment only through Caron Jones.

 

TUESDAY – One session per month

The Advice  Centre, Forge Road, Machynlleth

From 11am until 2.30pm

By appointment only through Caron Jones.

 

WEDNESDAY – every week

Powys County Council offices at Welshpool...

From 10.30am to 3pm

By appointment only through Caron Jones

 

THURSDAY – every week.

Newydd Housing Office, St David’s House, Newtown

From 12pm to 3.30pm

By appointment only through Caron Jones

 

The times are appointment only due to demand and we may increase times due to the increasing numbers wanting access to the private rented sector. 

Review of an offer:

If we offer you accommodation, you have the right to request a review if you don’t feel it is suitable.  You will be provided with a letter which gives details of how you can request a review. 

You must request a review within 21 days of the offer of accommodation.

You should be aware that if you have been placed in interim / temporary accommodation by us and you review is not successful, you will be asked to leave the Interim / temporary accommodation as we will not have a further duty to you.

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Contact

  • Address:
    Housing Area Office
    Ystradgynlais Area Office
    Hendre Ladus
    Ystradgynlais
    Powys
    SA9 1SE
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