Facing Homelessness

3. What to expect from us

If you are concerned that there is a threat you may lose your accommodation please use our Housing Advice Self-Help Tool to establish what assistance is available to you. In particular circumstances, the personalised 'Action plan' generated by the Self-Help Tool may advise you to contact our Housing Options team.

Housing Options team

If you contact our Housing Options team and we have reason to believe you are eligible for assistance (threatened with homelessness, have a local connection and may be in priority need), you will be booked in by our Housing Options team to have an interview with a Housing Options officer who will investigate your case and give you further housing advice and assistance in order to help sustain your current accommodation or if that is not possible, to find alternative suitable accommodation.

It is vital that you cooperate with the officer and understand that you will need to take responsibility of helping yourself resolve your housing situation.

Interview and assessment

In the interview you will be given the opportunity to explain your current situation, the officer will then assess this to see what action needs to be taken. You will need to bring all your relevant documents (as stated in you appointment letter) to ensure we have all the right information for your case.

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, be provided with financial advice and contact details of support agencies, such as services providing free debt advice.

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 can 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 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 accommodate you

If we do not have a duty under a homeless legislation to accommodate you, we will not be able to offer you any accommodation.

However, 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 up to £500 to assist 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.