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Are you homeless?
Below are some frequently asked questions which may help answer your question on housing or homelessness
- Are you worried that you might lose your home
- What should you do if you don't have anywhere to stay tonight?
- What can Bury Council do to help?
- What happens in a Housing Options Interview?
- What should you bring to an interview?
- What happens next?
- What happens in a homeless interview?
- Other people we may contact
- How do we let you know our decision?
- What happens if you are not accepted as homeless?
- What happens if you are accepted as homeless?
- What to do if you don't agree with the Council's decision.
- What to do if your circumstances change
- How can you help yourself?
Get in touch with the Housing Options Team by coming into the housing reception between 9am and midday Monday to Friday, Town Hall, Knowsley Street, Bury or by phoning 0161 253 5537 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
If you think you might become homeless we will offer you an appointment for you to sit down and discuss your situation with a Housing Options Officer. Same day interviews can be arranged if you don't have anywhere to stay that night. The interview is free and confidential.
We also run outreach sessions at the following locations:
You must contact us straight away on the contact details above. Outside of these hours you can ring 0161 253 6606. This is the control room and they will only deal with emergency issues.
You will be offered an interview with a Housing Options Officer on the same day or if the office is closed duty officers will make an emergency assessment of your situation.
Bury Council can offer you free advice and help. We will do everything possible to prevent you from losing your home and becoming homeless and we will look for a solution which suits your needs.
We may be able to:
- Prevent you from losing your home;
- Find you alternative accommodation;
- Give you advice on maximising income;
- Put you in contact with another service who can help you;
- Provide you with temporary accommodation.
At the housing reception you will be able to discuss your situation in a confidential environment. A home visit can be arranged if you are unable to attend the office for medical or other reasons. You can ask someone to come along to your interview with you, this can be friend, family, support worker etc.
During the meeting we will look at your situation and how we can help you avoid becoming homeless.
You may need to bring some or all of the following with you. The officer will tell you exactly what you will need but it's best to bring as much information as possible with you:
- Proof of income, including benefits, wage slips, bank statements etc.
- Proof of address
- Proof of identity e.g. birth certificate, passport National Insurance Number.
- Proof of family makeup (if relevant)
- Proof of pregnancy (if relevant)
- If your current tenancy is ending then any documentation relating to this.
If there is a reason to believe you are homeless you will be passed to a Homeless Officer who will take a full homeless application. Our legal duties to you will depend on your circumstances.
We can take a full homeless application from you. However, we must consider the following to make a decision on what support and assistance we can offer you.
- If you are eligible for assistance
- If you are homeless
- If you are in priority need
- If you are not intentionally homeless
- If you have a local connection
Your application will be assessed as soon as possible after your interview. Please help us by providing all the information as quickly as you can.
We will only contact other services and people who can provide relevant information we need to assess you application. For example, Housing Benefit, Council Tax, your landlord or mortgage lender and other support services.
We will ask for your consent before any contact is made.
By law we have to give you our decision in writing. We will send a letter to the address you have given us in your interview. However, if letter isn't the best way to communicate with you then please let us know in your interview.
We will explain the reasons for our decision and tell you what assistance the Council can offer you.
After considering your application, the Council decide that you are not homeless or that you are homeless but not in priority need or are intentionally homeless, it means we do not have to offer you permanent accommodation. We will still offer you advice and assistance on your housing options.
If the Council accept a duty to you we will make a reasonable offer of suitable accommodation. This could be in a Six Town Housing property, other registered social landlord. We can provide temporary accommodation in the meantime if required.
If you don't agree with the Council's homeless decision you have the right to request a review of the decision. You will have 21 days from the date of your decision letter to ask us for a review. A Business Manager from Housing choices who wasn't involved in the original decision will undertake the review. A decision will be made within 8 weeks of your request.
If your circumstances change in any way, please let us know as soon as possible.
You may no longer need our help. You may have found your own accommodation or decide to remain where you are, just let us know. Our specially trained officers are here to help.
- If you are having difficulty paying your rent contact your landlord straight away.
- If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage contact your lender straight away.
- Register your application on the Council's housing waiting list.
- Register your application with Housing Associations.
- Check Bury Home Options weekly and place bids.
- Check Pinpoint weekly and place bids.
- Check the private rented sector section on the website for available properties.
- Register your interest with local estate agents for other private rented properties.
- Check you are claiming all the benefits to which you are entitled.
- Citizen's Advice can offer free advice and information.
- If your circumstances change you must contact us immediately.
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