Housing advice homelessness
The Housing Advice Team are based at North Tyneside’s Killingworth Site.
Face to face interviews are available, you will need to book these in advance to be seen in a local Customer Service Centre at North Shields, Wallsend, Whitley Bay or Killingworth (White Swan Centre).
Telephone 0800 011 6511 (only use this number if you are homeless, threatened with homeless or at immediate risk of homelessness, do not use this number to enquire about rehousing applications)
Opening hours for face to face advice:-
Monday – Thursday 9am – 4.30pm
Friday 9am – 4pm
Out of hours homeless emergency service
North Tyneside Council provides an out of hours emergency homeless service.
This service is available on Tel: 0800 011 6511
- 6pm – 8am Monday to Friday
- 8am – 8am (24/7) Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday.
Severe weather emergency provision (SWEP)
During periods of extreme cold, housing authorities must provide facilities for rough sleepers. This is to prevent deaths as a result of weather conditions.
Who are rough sleepers?
Rough sleepers are:
- People sleeping in the open air.
- People about to bed down (sitting on/in or standing next to their bedding) in the open air.
- People actually bedded down (such as on the streets, in tents, doorways, parks, bus shelters or encampments).
- People in buildings or other places not designed for habitation (such as sheds, cars, stairwells, barns, car parks, derelict boats, and so on).
Who are not rough sleepers?
Rough sleepers are not:
- People in hostels or shelters.
- People in campsites or other sites used for recreational purposes.
- People in organised protest, squatters or travellers.
When does the SWEP come into place?
SWEP is active between 1 November – 31 March and periods where night-time temperatures are going to be zero degrees or below for three consecutive nights.
Who keeps a check on the temperature?
The Temporary Accommodation Team will check the temperature twice daily using metoffice.gov.uk
Where will rough sleepers sleep?
We will provide a sit up service accommodation.
Rough sleepers will be provided extra support and be assigned a Homeless Support Officer who will help rough sleepers gain alternative permanent accommodation.
Does this apply to all rough sleepers?
No, there are exceptions. People assessed as high risk by mental health services, police or probation workers are not placed in B&B's. A high risk person is aggressive, violent or threatening violence. In these circumstances, the team will discuss with our Housing Services Manager and record the details.
What happens if someone doesn't want emergency accommodation?
We will also record when a person refuses emergency accommodation. In all cases, we will offer advice and help. Our aim is to facilitating a longer term outcome.
How often will the SWEP be reviewed?
We review the SWEP annually.
We are committed to end rough sleeping in North Tyneside. If you see a rough sleeper, please inform us as soon as possible.
You can report a rough sleeper by contacting the Housing Advice Team anytime on free phone number 0800 011 6511 or during office hours on 0191 6432520.
Please be assured that our outreach workers will/ have already engaged/ with the rough sleeper and they will be offering continuous assistance in order for the rough sleeper to gain permanent accommodation.
Many rough sleepers have complex needs and may take some time before they accept assistance.
Please do not wake a rough sleeper, and only provide food, drink or clothing and not money.
Housing advice and homelessness
The definition of homelessness
You don't have to be sleeping on the streets or not have a roof over your head to be thought of as homeless. Most people who are legally homeless are not on the streets. The Council has a duty to work with you to try and prevent or relieve your homelessness.
Circumstances when this may happen include:
- You are at risk of violence or abuse where you are living. This can be from a partner, ex-partner or family member, or someone in your area. The council may ask you to provide details of the incidents. Evidence is helpful but the council will not turn you away if you haven’t reported incidents to the police
- You don't have 'a roof over your head' i.e. you are street homeless
- You are at risk of losing your home;
- You can't afford to stay where you are;
- You are staying with friends or 'sofa surfing';
- You have been locked out or illegally evicted;
- Your accommodation is in very poor condition;
- You can't live together with your partner or close family; and
- You have nowhere to put a mobile home, such as a caravan.
If one or more of these apply, you may be eligible for help from the council.
Free housing advice
Anyone who is homeless, threatened with homelessness or may be experiencing housing difficulties may contact North Tyneside Council, Housing Advice Team. Many cases of homelessness can be avoided so please contact us as soon as you begin to experience difficulties – we may be able to help.
The Housing Advice Team is committed to ensuring customers who are threatened with homelessness or who are homeless receive a high level of customer service, advice and support to help them address their housing needs. We are responsible for assessing Homeless Applications in accordance with Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996.
What can the housing advice team do for you?
The primary aim of the Housing Advice Team is to prevent homelessness. We will do this by providing you with advice and assistance, liaising with family, negotiating with landlords in order for you to sustain your tenancy. If this is not possible we will explore options and attempt to find a solution to ensure that you have a safe place to stay.
The Team also give advice and assistance for customers who require any sort of advice regarding their housing situation, eg homeless in an emergency such as fire or flood, rent or mortgage arrears, disrepair, been served a notice from your landlord or your tenancy is coming to an end, fleeing violence, overcrowding, parental/family exclusions, relationship breakdown, struggling to stay in your home and need help or support, debt advice. Referrals can also be made to agencies as well as signposting for further advice and assistance. You will be offered an appointment with a Housing Advice Officer.
At the interview
Please remember to bring the documents and information that you will be asked to bring with you. If you do not it may delay the process of being able to help you.
Working with the Housing Options Officer a Personal Housing Plan will be developed. This will identify what we, as a Council need to do and what you need to do to try and resolve your current housing issues. You will receive a copy of this Plan. Your named Housing Options Officer will be in regular contact with you to review the Plan to ensure that the actions are being kept to and everything possible is happening to try and prevent you from becoming homelessness.
If it is not possible to prevent homelessness or relieve homelessness within the timescales then an application will be taken under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996.
If the Council says it can help you.
If the Council takes an application from you under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 and confirms that it has a statutory duty to help you and has provided you with temporary accommodation, then you will be able to stay there until you move to a permanent home.
If the Council says it cannot help you
If the Council takes an application from you under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 and confirms that there is no statutory duty to help you and you have been provided with temporary accommodation you will be given a date to leave this by.
If you are not happy with the decision then you can challenge it.
If you think the Council’s decision is wrong you can contact an independent local advice centre such as Citizens Advice Bureau for advice and guidance.
Other support if you are not eligible
If you are not eligible for housing from the council, you may still be able to access help from other services such as Social Services if you have children or additional needs.
Duty to Refer
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 was introduced on 3 April 2018. This Act has implemented key changes to Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 that have changed the way in which local authorities respond to a household’s homelessness.
One change is a legal duty on specified public bodies requiring them to refer households that may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to a local housing authority. This applies to English local authority areas only. This duty starts from 1 October 2018. The public bodies include:
- Job Centre Plus
- Secure training centres
- Secure colleges
- Probation services, including CRC’s
- Youth offending teams
- Youth offender institutions
- Prisons (public and private)
- Social services
- Hospitals (in patient treatment
- A&E departments
- Urgent treatment centres (community, primary, urgent centres, minor injury units and walk in centres)
- Regular forces
If someone presents at any of these or is due to be released and there is reason to be believe they may be homeless or homelessness is disclosed then the person with their consent can be referred to a local authority. They can be referred to an authority of their choice, although this does not mean that the local authority is accepting a homeless application as per Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996. There is one referral form for public bodies to complete.
Information has been shared with the public bodies to make them aware of this duty and what it means for them.
There is a commitment from local authorities to work with those public bodies that are not included in this duty. Work will take place to develop and implement a duty to cooperate.
North Tyneside Council Deposit Guarantee Scheme
Information for Landlords
What is the Deposit Guarantee Scheme?
The scheme aims to help households threatened with homelessness gain access to privately rented accommodation.
By working in partnership with local landlords the Council can offer housing to those who may not be able to access the private sector independently because they are unable to raise the tenancy deposit.
What are the benefits of the Deposit Guarantee Scheme for landlords?
- The Council charges no fees or commission for this service. Many letting agents charge the first months’ rent plus admin fees to find a tenant.
- All tenants undergo referencing including an affordability assessment.
- Free advice on the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants.
- Your tenants will receive support with any claim for Housing Benefit/Universal Credit (housing costs), including requests for Alternative Payment Arrangements.
- Intensive additional support for tenants who encounter problems sustaining their tenancy
How does the scheme work?
Once a landlord has registered and provided a property to become part of the scheme and a suitable tenant found, landlords are offered a bond against damage for the first 6 months (up to a maximum of 12 months) of the new tenancy. The bond acts in the same way as a cash deposit and can be claimed against for any such losses. The bond will normally be to the value of the agreed monthly rent.
What do I need to do next?
If you would like more information please contact us on 0191 643 2520 or email email@example.com
How did we do?
Thank you for using our service, we would be grateful if you would spare a few minutes to complete a short survey to help us monitor and improve the services we provide. To do this, please follow the link below to the Housing Advice Customer Survey:
If you do not have internet access at home, there are computer facilities available for you to use free of charge in any North Tyneside Council library or Customer First Centre.