I am at risk of becoming homeless
If you think you might become homeless, tell us as soon as you can and we will try and help you. It is very hard to find accommodation so it is important that you do not wait until you lose your home to come to us for help. We will provide advice even if you are not threatened with homelessness within 56 days. The earlier you contact us, the more time we have to help.
What does being threatened with homelessness mean?
The law says that you are threatened with homelessness if you have to leave your home within 56 days.
How can you help me?
If you think you might become homeless, tell us as soon as you can. We will arrange an appointment for you to see a homelessness advice & prevention officer. At the appointment we will look at how we can stop you becoming homeless. We can negotiate with the person who has asked you to leave, refer you for debt counselling, make sure you are claiming the right benefits and give advice on finding a new more affordable home.
If you are threatened with homelessness because you are disabled and your home is unsuitable, we can look at whether we can help you adapt your home.
Homeless prevention duty
If we think you are going to become homeless in the next 56 days, we will owe you the homeless prevention duty. This means that we must take reasonable steps to stop you from becoming homeless. We will give you a personalised housing plan which will set out the steps that you and the council must take to try and prevent you from becoming homeless.
The duty lasts for 56 days and we will work closely with you and regularly review your personalised housing plan.
Ending the homeless prevention duty
We can end the homeless prevention duty if:
- you have accommodation that you can live in for at least 6 months
- we have complied with the prevention duty and 56 have passed
- you become homeless (we will then owe you the homeless relief duty)
- you refuse an offer of suitable accommodation
- you become homeless intentionally from any accommodation that has been made available to you as a result of the reasonable steps taken by us
- you are no longer eligible for assistance
- you withdraw your homeless application
- you deliberately and unreasonably refuse to co-operate with us
We will write to you and tell you why we are bringing the duty to an end and how to ask for a review of the decision if you are not happy.
If we can't prevent you from becoming homeless, we may need to provide you with temporary accommodation. Only certain people qualify for temporary accommodation such as people with dependent children (if the children are also homeless), people who are pregnant and people with physical disabilities. Other people may qualify if they are vulnerable as a result of a particular issue.
Will the Council offer me a permanent home?
Unfortunately, we can't help everybody that comes to us for a home. If you lose your home because of anti-social behaviour or because you did not pay your rent or mortgage, we may decide that you have made yourself intentionally homeless. If this is the decision that we make and we can't prevent you from becoming homeless, we will offer you advice about other housing options.
Even if you are not intentionally homeless, we may not be able to offer you a home with the council. There are a lot of people waiting for council accommodation and very few houses becoming available. The council advertises all its available properties through West Lancashire Homefinder (external link).
It is important that you know what is available with the council, other social housing providers and the private rented sector. It is also important for you to know the amount of rent that you can afford before you become homeless. It may be better to try and resolve your situation and stay in your home while you wait for a suitable and affordable property to become available.