I am at Risk of Being Homeless

If you are at risk of being homeless in Gloucester, we can help!

You do not need to wait until you are homeless to get advice. If you think you are at risk of losing your home speak to us straight away so we can help you look at your options.

Under the homelessness legislation a person is homeless if they and their family don't have anywhere to live in the UK or anywhere else in the world. However, if you have a home you may also be homeless or threatened with homelessness if:

  • you have been evicted illegally
  • you are being subjected to violence, or it is likely you will be if you continue to live in your home
  • there are exceptional circumstances, and it is not reasonable for you to remain in your home
  • you have been issued with a Notice to Quit or Possession Order to leave your property
  • you have somewhere to live but cannot get into it
  • or your home is a caravan or houseboat and you have nowhere to legally park or moor it.

If you are at risk of becoming homeless, you can speak to a Housing Services Officer by calling 01452 396 396, email homeless.team@gloucester.gov.uk

What happens next?

When you contact one of our housing officers they will ask you about your situation. We will let you know about your legal rights and we may be able to help you find suitable accommodation within the private sector.

You will be asked to attend an interview with a housing officer so they can get to know you and find out more about your situation. They will then help you apply to Gloucester City Council as homeless.

If you can, please bring any relevant documents with you to your interview such as:

  • proof of benefits e.g. Child benefits, ESA, Disability Living Allowance, or Universal Credit 
  • proof of pregnancy
  • birth certificate(s)
  • passport
  • any other information relevant to your application

You can take someone into the interview with you. This can be a friend, relative or specialist advisor. This can help if your situation is complex or if you would like support during the interview.

During your interview the housing officer should explain the application process clearly to you. They'll also ask questions about your situation and how you became homeless.

If we think you qualify for short-term emergency housing, we will find you a place to stay. The council then assesses your application to decide if you qualify for longer-term help.

If you qualify for longer-term housing, you usually have to stay in temporary housing until settled housing becomes available.

If you don't qualify for help, we will advise you on how to find somewhere else to stay.

Who qualifies

To qualify for long-term housing from Gloucester City Council, all the following 5 conditions must apply to you.

To qualify for emergency housing, the council must think conditions 1 to 3 apply to you.

1. You need to be legally homeless

To qualify for help, you must be classed as 'legally homeless'. This includes if you:

  • have been evicted from your home
  • need to leave due to violence
  • can't stay due to a fire or flood
  • are sleeping on the street
  • will lose your home within 56 days (for example, if you're going to be evicted)
  • have been asked to leave somewhere temporary (such as a friend's house)

2. You need to be a priority for help

To qualify for help, you or someone in your household must be in 'priority need'.

You are likely to be in priority need if you're a young person aged 16 or 17 (social services usually have to help you) or a care leaver under 21.

You will be in priority need if you're:

  • a family with children under 16
  • a family with children under 19 (if they are in full-time education)
  • pregnant
  • homeless due to a disaster such as a fire or flood
  • classed as 'vulnerable'

You may be classed as vulnerable if, for example, you are disabled or have a serious health condition or you are at risk of domestic abuse.

When deciding if you are vulnerable, we will take into account anything that makes it hard for you to cope with being homeless.

3. You need to be allowed to live in the UK

If you have immigration or residence restrictions, it could mean we can't help you.

You usually qualify for help if you:

  • are a British or Irish citizen living in the UK
  • are from the EU or EEA and are living and working in the UK
  • have Home Office permission to stay in the UK and are allowed to claim benefits

Other people from abroad may also qualify for help.

  • If you've recently lived abroad
  • If you've recently lived abroad you may need to pass the 'habitual residence test' to show you're now settled in the UK, even if you are British.
  • If you have no access to public funds

You don't usually qualify for help if your immigration status says you have 'no recourse to public funds' (for example if you have a student visa).

4. You need to be homeless through no fault of your own

To qualify for longer-term help, you must be homeless through no fault of your own.

We won't help you if you made yourself homeless. This is called being 'intentionally homeless' and includes if you:

  • were evicted due to antisocial behaviour
  • left housing that you could have stayed in
  • didn't pay rent or mortgage payments you could afford

5. You need to have links to the area

Having links is known as having a 'local connection' and includes if you:

  • have lived or worked in the area
  • have close family who live in the area
  • need specialist health care in the area

If you don't have links to the area where you apply, we can sometimes refer you to an area where you do have links.

For more information on the questions above, how we investigate your case, emergency temporary accommodation and housing options.

How to find Private Accomodation (PDF, 119.1 KB)

Tenancy Rescue

If you are at risk of homelessness due to financial issues we may be able to assist you with one off financial assistance. Reasons may include;

  • Loss of earning
  • Rent arrears
  • Accidental damage

Please contact:

Stuart Dean
01452 396917
Private Sector Engagement Officer