Homelessness

I have been asked to leave my property – what should I do?

Firstly you should make contact with your landlord to try to resolve any issues which may have caused them to ask you to leave. You can request an appointment with a Housing Officer who can talk through this difficult time with you to help you establish some options and help you to make a plan. For more information visit: Shelter - Eviction

What is homelessness?

You will be classed as homeless if any of the following apply:

  • you have no accommodation available in the UK or elsewhere
  • you cannot go home because of the risk of violence
  • your family has no home where you can live together
  • you have a home but it is considered unreasonable for you to live there

If you're homeless, or at risk of losing your home, we may be able to provide you with housing related support. Housing related support can help to resolve the problems that are contributing to your housing issues, including:

  • managing your mental or physical health
  • problems with drugs or alcohol
  • difficulties managing a budget or paying your rent or mortgage
  • problems getting or staying in work or education

Support can be provided:

  • in the place you are currently living
  • in supported accommodation if you need somewhere to stay

The type of housing related support we can provide depends on your circumstances.

If you need to apply for Housing Related Support visit: Suffolk County Council - Housing help and support

Am I eligible for help?

  • Are you homeless?
  • Are you in priority need?
  • Do you have a connection in the district?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to all of the above, or you are homeless tonight please Customer Services as soon as possible on 01638 719345 or 01284 757178 to seek advice on your next steps.

The law requires us to assess your housing needs if you are threatened with homelessness within 28 days. We will look to provide temporary housing, to vulnerable households who are homeless through no fault of their own, until a more settled solution becomes available.

If you have come to live in the West Suffolk area from another country, we must first decide whether we have a right to help you.

If you are homeless tonight, we will arrange for a member of the housing team to call you back on the same day. It is usual for us to ask you a few questions to help us decide the urgency of your case.

These can include:

  • the name and age of all those in the household
  • national insurance numbers
  • last settled address
  • reasons for eviction/eviction date
  • medical conditions

Do I have a priority need?

You are in priority need for housing if:

  • you or anyone in your household has children living with them
  • you or anyone in your household is pregnant
  • you are aged between 16 - 17 and not eligible for housing from social services
  • you are a care leaver aged between 18 - 21
  • you have been made homeless due to a fire, flood or another disaster
  • you are deemed as vulnerable, for example, as a result of violence, old age or health problems

To be entitled to longer term housing in the area, we will consider how you became homeless. If we decided you became homeless intentionally, then we will not have a duty to find you permanent rehousing under the homelessness act.

Do I have a local connection?

We would consider you to have a local connection if:

  • you have lived in the area for six months out of the past 12, or three years out of the past five
  • you have close family who have lived in the area for the least five years. Close family is usually limited to your mother, father, siblings or children.
  • you work in the area. Your employment doesn't have to be full-time. Self-employed people can have a local connection if they mainly work in the council's area.
  • you can't return to a particular area because you face domestic violence
  • you have no local connection with any other area.

If we decide that you do not have a local connection with us, we will refer you to another council where a connection can be established.

I’m struggling to pay my rent, I have rent arrears

You must make sure that you speak to your landlord as soon as you know you may have an arrear on your rent account. They are able to work with you to assist you to reach an agreement to repay any outstanding balances. If you do not make a payment plan and stick to the agreement it may affect your ability to rehouse and may even cause you to lose your home. For an easy way to work out your finances visit: Shelter - Budget planner

For advice if you are struggling to pay your rent, you may find it useful to visit:

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Scheme queries:

Forest Heath District Council email benefits@angliarevenues.gov.uk or phone 01284 757269

St Edmundsbury Borough Council email benefits@angliarevenues.gov.uk or phone 01284 757269.

Other helpful organisations:

What does intentionally homeless mean?

You are intentionally homeless if you intentionally gave up your accommodation that you could have continued to occupy if you followed the tenancy agreement.

Some examples of this are:

  • being evicted due to antisocial behaviour
  • being evicted due to manageable rent arrears

If your last home was temporary or short-term, the council will look into the reasons you left your last settled home.

Can you help me with private renting?

Yes – for more details contact our West Suffolk Lettings Partnership

Find out how: Help to buy and private rented accommodation

Rough sleeper information

For advice and support if you are rough sleeping or to tell us about someone that is, please visit www.streetlink.org.uk

Bury Drop In

Garland Street Hall, every Tuesday and Friday between 1pm and 3pm

A Drop In service, offered by local churches and run with the cooperation of the local authority.

The service offers homeless and vulnerable people a warm, safe and friendly place to be. Hot and nourishing food and drink is served and other agencies will be on hand to offer specialist help.