Homeless or risk of homelessness

Homelessness services that we offer

Free information and advice

We provide free information and advice to anyone in Northampton who is homeless or worried about becoming homeless.  

We have designed our information and advice to:

  • help you take action to resolve your housing needs yourself if possible
  • encourage you to ask for our help without delay if you need it

Personal help we can offer if you are homeless or at risk of homelessness    

Are you eligible?   

If you are a person from abroad then our specially trained staff will screen whether you are eligible for homelessness services.

This is a complex area of the law and will depend on your nationality, immigration status and residency.

Even if you are not eligible for homelessness services we can offer you free advice and information on where to get help.

Applying for help    

We will offer you an appointment to find out about your needs and discuss whether we have a duty to offer you additional help.

The help that we can offer you will depend on your personal circumstances and may include:

  • support to prevent or delay you from becoming homelessness
  • a plan of action to relieve your housing needs if you do lose your home
  • assistance with temporary accommodation 
  • access to settled accommodation

We will try to make everything clear and easy for you to understand. We will offer you assistance if English is not your first language or if you have mobility difficulties, sight or hearing loss, learning difficulties or other communication needs.

We can offer you a full housing assessment 

The help that we offer you will be based on your housing needs. We will ask you the following questions:

1. Are you homeless or at risk of with homelessness within the next 56 days?

We need to be sure that you are actually homeless, or threatened with homelessness within 56 days.

We will check whether it is reasonable for you to return to your last address, or for you to continue living there.

2. Do we have a duty to help prevent or relieve your homelessness?

If we agree that you are eligible and homeless (or threatened with homelessness within 56 days), whatever the reasons, then we will help you to prevent or relieve your homelessness.

3. Do you agree to a personal housing plan and will you co-operate?

If we have a duty to help you keep your home or to help you to find somewhere suitable to live then we will agree a personal housing plan with you.

We will make sure that your personal housing plan is fair and reasonable. It will list the actions that we will take and the actions for you to take to help yourself.

It is important that you to follow your part of the personal housing plan.

The law says that we can consider ending our duty to help you if you deliberately fail to co-operate with us.   

4. Do you have a priority need?

If you have a priority need then we will offer you help to secure temporary accommodation.

To establish if you have a priority need we will look at whether you:

  • have dependent children, or you (or a household member) are pregnant
  • are vulnerable, for example because of your age, mental health, disability
  • are 16 or 17 years old
  • have lost your home because of an emergency such as a fire or flood

5. Do we have a duty to provide temporary accommodation?

If you are homeless, have a priority need and require temporary accommodation, then we will help with somewhere suitable to stay while we work with you for 56 days to find somewhere more settled to live.

If possible we will help you to arrange to be 'homeless at home' with family or friends. If this is not an option then we will offer you temporary accommodation.

6. Do you have a local connection?

  • Have you lived in Northampton or the Northampton Related Development Area continuously for the last three years
  • Have you worked in Northampton or the Northampton Related Development Area for the last nine months 
  • Do you want to live near to a close relative who has lived in Northampton or the Northampton Related Development Area for the last five years to provide or receive support or care?

We may refer you to another council for more help if it is safe to do so and you have insufficient local connection with Northampton or the Northampton   Related Development Area.

Slightly different rules apply to care leavers, people leaving prison, people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act and former asylum seekers.

7. Have you recently served in the regular armed forces? 

You can choose to have your local connection to any Housing Authority in England if you:

  • are a serving member of the regular forces
  • have served in the regular forces within the last 5 years
  • you are the bereaved spouse or partner of someone whose death was related to their service in the armed forces. 

8. Are you intentionally homeless?

Have you lost your home because of something you have deliberately done (or something you have failed to do).

Here are some examples of what the law says is intentional homelessness:

  • Disregarding professional advice on how to avoid becoming homeless
  • Leaving a property when it was reasonable to stay there
  • Deciding not to pay the rent or mortgage
  • Asking the landlord or head of the household to say you must leave

If we decide that you are intentionally homeless then our duty to provide you with help to relieve your homelessness will end after 56 days even if you haven't found somewhere else to live.

If we have provided you with temporary accommodation then you will have to move out and make your own arrangements .

9. Do we have a duty to offer you settled accommodation?

If you are homeless, in priority need, have a local connection and homeless through no fault of your own then we will offer you somewhere settled to stay, This is likely to be a tenancy for at least 6 months in the private sector, or a tenancy with a housing association or the council.