Facing Homelessness

3. What to expect from us

  • Your call will firstly be triaged by our Officers who will take your details to get a basic understanding of your housing situation and give you advice
  • Depending on your circumstances, you may be asked to bring all relevant documents (e.g. ID, tenancy documents, bank statements etc.) to the Town Hall
  • Once we have all your documentation, you may be offered an appointment for a Housing Assessment where you will get the opportunity to speak to a Housing Officer to discuss your housing situation and potential solutions. If the Council has a duty to prevent or relieve your homelessness, you will be issued with a Personal Housing Plan (PHP) outlining steps you and the Council will need to take to try and resolve your housing difficulty.
  • Depending on your situation, the officer may take various routes of assistance such as speaking with your friends or family in order to stop an eviction or speaking to your landlord to either stop or delay an eviction. This will give you more time to secure alternative accommodation, seek financial advice and other support.
  • It is vital you cooperate with the Officer and understand that you will need to take responsibility for helping yourself resolve your housing situation and complying with steps stated in your PHP (where applicable)

Referrals into the private rented sector

If applicable, the officer can also refer you to our partner organisation NextStep, a professional housing service delivered by YMCA East Surrey. It provides assistance with finding suitable private rented accommodation and operates a rent deposit scheme for those who have shown they cannot afford the deposit. This is a highly recommended process; successful referrals secure suitable accommodation in the area of choice. You are required to search for the accommodation and NextStep will help you secure it. This is the only option that gives you choice as to where your next home will be.

Emergency accommodation

In certain circumstances when other options fail, we may provide you with emergency accommodation (see section 'Who we can help'). Emergency accommodation could be outside of the borough due to limited availability of emergency housing within the borough and you may be moved again at a later date into temporary accommodation. This may be until your case is fully investigated and a decision made with regards to what duty (if any) the Council has to provide accommodation for you. If the Council accepts a full homeless duty to your household, you will be given one suitable offer of permanent accommodation in either the private sector or social sector. If you refuse the offer then the Council will end its duty to you under homeless legislation.

If we do not have a duty to offer you permanent accommodation

We will equip you with the relevant information and guidance to help you secure your own accommodation. If applicable, we can also refer you to hostels or supported accommodation.

  • If you are a single homeless person and at risk of becoming homeless, we can offer you financial assistance to help you with the deposit for a privately rented flat or room via our Single Person's Rent Deposit scheme.
  • Visit our Guide to finding accommodation in the borough webpage where you will find detailed information on various routes you can take to find accommodation in the borough as well as advice and tips on: tenancies, money, affordable furnishings, repairs, emergency accommodation and much more.
  • Look at hostels and night shelters for a short-term accommodation solution whilst you secure yourself permanent accommodation.