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Homelessness

Homelessness Reduction Act 2017

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 was implemented on 3 April 2018, signalling the most significant change to homelessness law for a number of years. The legislation placed a duty on councils to help prevent the homelessness of all who are eligible and threatened with homelessness, regardless of priority need.

Key measures in the Act include

  • An extension of the period in which the authority should treat someone as threatened with homelessness from 28 to 56 days
  • A new duty to prevent homelessness and a new duty to relieve homelessness 
  • A requirement for public services to notify the Council if they come into contact with someone who may be homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • A duty on the applicant to co-operate with the authority in resolving their housing issue

Duties to prevent and relieve homelessness:

Rutland County Council has a duty to help people if they are at risk of losing their suitable accommodation within 56 days. 

Steps taken to relieve homelessness are that the Council will help all those who are homeless to secure suitable accommodation regardless of whether they are ‘intentionally homeless’ or priority need. 

Eligible households are given help to find accommodation. 

If neither of the first two steps work and the household remains or becomes homeless, then those clients in priority need retain their rights be housed, but those who are non-priority are not entitled to any further help. 

There is also a requirement for councils to make sure that everyone can get free information and advice on preventing and relieving homelessness, particularly vulnerable groups including victims of domestic abuse, persons suffering from mental ill health and prisoners on release.

If you are threatened with homelessness or are homeless, or would like to find out more about the Homelessness Reduction Act, you can contact the Council’s Housing Options Team on 01572 722 577 or emailhousingoptions@rutland.gov.uk

Reporting a Rough Sleeper in Rutland

The best way to help   

Report wherever you can and try and to get a rough sleeper to engage with services at the Council. It is important to remember that there are lots of support services and agencies available to help anyone to be found to be rough sleeping.

Do not be tempted to hand over money. This for many can do more harm than good as the money will often be used to feed a habit of alcohol and substance misuse. By doing this you could put yourself in a position of risk as you could be a target for other people approaching you for money.

Always be mindful that the person you are engaging with might have additional support needs, e.g. mental health, learning difficulty, drug or alcohol related illness, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder  (PTSD), bereavement or even just a relationship breakdown.

How to get help 

Monday – Thursday 08.30 – 17:00, Friday 08:30 – 16:30

Ward Members & the Public Anyone can report a rough sleeper by contacting the Rutland County Council Housing and Community Resilience team on 01572 758157 during office hours (Monday – Thursday 08.30 – 17:00, Friday 08:30 – 16:30) or email: housingoptions@rutland.gov.uk

If a member of the public encounters a rough sleeper out of hours, they can report this also via StreetLink www.streetlink.org.uk.

Self-referrals: anyone that feels they are risk of rough sleeping can also if they wish self-refer to the Council on 01572 758157 or they can also refer themselves into the Homelessness Transitions Service that is provided by The Bridge. This service offers one to one support and provides a dedicated Homelessness Transitions Officer. A referral can be made by calling 01509 260 500.

Partner organisations/Internal colleagues: Partner organisations can report a rough sleeper by contacting Rutland County Council Housing and Community Resilience Team on 01572 758157 or by emailing: housingoptions@rutland.gov.uk

How to Get Help (out of hours)

If you encounter a rough sleeper out of office hours and you are engaged with them call the Council’s out of hours service on 01858 464 499.

If the rough sleeper is not present you can also report this via StreetLink (www.streetlink.org.uk).

Key Contacts for help and advice

  •     Rutland County Council Housing Options 01572 758 157
  •    housingoptions@rutland.gov.uk
  •  Out of Hours Assistance 01858  464 499 (5pm – 8.30am 7 days a week 365 days a year) This service is provided by Harborough Life Line
  • Leicestershire Police 101
  • StreetLink - www.streetlink.org.uk

Always consider your own safety and that of others around you

Contacts

We urge you to contact us as soon as possible if you are at risk of homelessness. 

We operate a 24 hour service, so please contact us at the Council Offices during normal opening hours.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation with nowhere to stay and our offices are closed please contact our out of hours service on 01858 464 499.

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