Applicants who are homeless or who are threatened with Homelessness (within 28 days) can ask the Council for assistance under the provisions of the Housing Act 1996.

The Council has to decide:
  • Is the applicant eligible for assistance? (certain people from abroad may not be eligible)
  • Is the applicant homeless?
  • Is the applicant in priority need? (i.e. pregnancy, children, vulnerability)
  • Is it the applicant's fault? (i.e. intentionally homeless)
  • Does the applicant have a local connection?

If the applicant and those who normally live with the applicant are unable to remain in their home and they have a priority need the Council will find them somewhere temporary to live. The Council will do this even if it has not finished making its enquiries into whether it is able to help the applicant. If the Council is satisfied that the applicant complies with all of the above questions a letter of acceptance will be issued.

If the applicant is found to be intentionally homeless the Council may continue to provide temporary accommodation for a further 28 days in order to find alternative accommodation. Advice and assistance can also be given.

If you do not agree with the Council’s decision about your homeless application, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed. The review would be carried out by a senior officer who was not involved with the original decision. If you do not agree with the review decisions you can appeal to the County Court.

If you are accepted as homeless by the Council, the Council have a duty to find you suitable temporary accommodation. It is likely that the temporary accommodation will be provided by a local Housing Association or through a privately leased property, and initially Bed and Breakfast accommodation may be used if no other accommodation is available.

Every effort will be made to provide accommodation within the area of your choice, but this cannot be guaranteed. If you unreasonably refuse an offer of suitable temporary accommodation, the Council may not have a further duty to make another offer.

If you are accepted as homeless you must register on Island HomeFinder. Island HomeFinder is used for allocating housing to those who need it most. Applicants are prioritised by housing need and then by the length of time they have been registered on the system. Available social rented properties are advertised via Island HomeFinder and applicants are required to express their interest in properties that are suitable for their needs. You shall be offered a property when your bid is at the top of a shortlist. If you are accepted and homeless and decide not bid on suitable properties when they are available, the Council shall bid for you. If a reasonable offer of accommodation is refused, the Council may not have a duty to continue to provide temporary accommodation.

Further information can be obtained in our leaflet Information for Homeless Applicants in our Advice Leaflets section, where you can also find a copy of our Homelessness Strategy.

Storage of Furniture

If you are accepted as homeless the Council can assist with an interest free loan for the cost of storage and removal of furniture with a removal contractor. You will be asked to sign an agreement to pay the Council by instalments.
The Council will agree the level of repayments with you based on your income. If payments are not maintained, the Council will have no further obligation for any furniture or possessions in storage and you will have to make your own arrangements. In addition, the Council may arrange to sell your possessions to cover the debt.

Many people do not wish to incur this additional expense and make their own arrangements with friends and relatives.

Page last updated on: 06/09/2010