Homelessness advice

This page will help you to understand what to expect if you approach us as homeless or threatened with homelessness.

How we can help

Are you:

  • Eligible for assistance; and
  • Homeless; or
  • Threatened with homelessness within 56 days; or
  • In receipt of a valid section 21 notice

If yes

We will assess your circumstances and housing support needs.

We will work with you to create a Personal Housing Plan. This will identify:

  • Steps for you to take to try to resolve your housing situation
  • Steps that we will take to try to resolve your housing situation

If no

You will be offered advice but we have no further duty to you.

You should be aware that deliberate and unreasonable refusal to take the steps in your plan may result in us ending certain duties towards you.

Preventing homelessness

If you are at risk of homelessness within 56 days or have a valid s21 notice, we have a duty to help you try to prevent your homelessness.

Relieving homelessness

If you are or become homeless, we have a duty to help you try to relieve your homelessness and help you and your household try to find suitable accommodation. You should note that this does not guarantee an offer of accommodation.

Main homelessness duty

If the steps to prevent and/or relieve your homelessness are unsuccessful, a decision will be made as to whether we owe the main homelessness duty to you. We owe the main homeless duty to people who are eligible, homeless, in priority need and not homeless intentionally.

Your situation

Are you eligible?

You are likely to be eligible for assistance unless:

  • You are a person from abroad subject to immigration control; or
  • You are not habitually resident in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man

Are you homeless?

  • You are likely to be considered homeless if:
  • You or your family have no accommodation which you are all entitled to occupy anywhere in the world; or
  • You have accommodation but cannot gain entry to it; or
  • You have a home butwe consider that if you continue to live there it is probable that this will lead to violence against you or a member of your family; or
  • You have a home but we consider that itis unreasonable for you to carry on living there

Are you in priority need?

You are likely to have a priority need if:

  • You have a dependent child who normally lives with you; or
  • You or your partner are pregnant; or
  • You are 16 or 17 years old; or
  • You are 18, 19 or 20 years old and have previously been in care; or
  • We consider that you or someone living with you is ‘vulnerable’ due to mental illness/disability or physical disability; or
  • We consider that you are ‘vulnerable’ because you have been in care, or have suffered threats of violence; or
  • You are homeless following a fire, flood or similar emergency
  • You are homeless due to fleeing domestic abuse

Are you intentionally homeless?

You are likely to be found intentionally homeless if:

  • You have given up accommodation that you could have continued to occupy; or
  • You have lost accommodation through your own fault; or
  • You have made an arrangement with somebody in order to take advantage of homelessness legislation

Local connection to Crawley

You have a local connection if you, or anyone who usually lives with you, have:

  • Lived in Crawley for six months in the past year or three years in the last five years; or
  • Permanent employment in Crawley; or
  • Immediate family who have lived in Crawley for the last five years; or
  • Other special connections with Crawley

Being in prison, hospital or another institution does not count as a local connection, neither does casual employment. If you meet the other criteria (for the main homelessness duty) but do not have a local connection with Crawley, we will usually refer you to the council with which you have a local connection.

Issuing a decision

If we decide we do not owe you a duty:

  • We will tell you and give our reasons in writing
  • We will end any temporary accommodation that we have provided
  • We will offer you advice about how to find somewhere to live

If we decide we owe you a legal duty:

  • We will arrange suitable temporary accommodation for you until you either find somewhere to live yourself or you receive an offer of suitable accommodation
  • You will be assessed to enter onto Crawley Borough Council’s housing register. Rental arrears or a history of anti-social behaviour may result in your banding being lowered (to band C for example) and impact the likelihood of being offered social housing
  • An offer of accommodation to discharge our housing duty to you may be into the private rented sector

I want help, what do I do next?

Complete an online housing assessment form.

Tell us about your housing situation

Common questions

Will I be offered temporary accommodation?

You will only be offered temporary accommodation if we have reason to believe that you are eligible, homeless and in priority need

What temporary accommodation could I be offered?

This is dependent on what is available. It may not be self-contained, have its own kitchen and bathroom facilities and may not be in Crawley. If you are offered accommodation out of Crawley, you will need to make your own travel arrangements. We are not able to help with moving or moving costs.

How much will temporary accommodation cost?

Temporary accommodation is not free. It is your responsibility to pay for your temporary accommodation. If you are on a low income or in receipt of benefits, you may be eligible for Housing Benefit. We can assist you with an application, but you will be expected to provide the information needed for the application to be processed.  You may have to pay a service charge and you will need to pay utility bills and your TV licence during this time. We will advise you of the rent and any applicable service charge at the time of making the placement.

Failure to pay can result in your eviction from temporary accommodation and our housing duty to you being ended. It may also impact future applications as homeless or to the housing register.

How long will I be in temporary accommodation?

It depends on what duty you are owed and how it is ended. Households owed a main housing duty are likely to wait several years for an offer of settled accommodation.

What happens if I refuse an offer of temporary accommodation?

If you refuse an offer of temporary accommodation, it is likely that no further offer of temporary accommodation will be made until a decision is made on your homeless application. If you refuse accommodation, you will need to make your own housing arrangements whilst we process your homeless application.

What do I do with my belongings?

The space and level of facilities available for your use vary depending on the type of accommodation you are placed into. You may not be able to take all your belongings into temporary accommodation with you. If you need help identifying storage options locally, your case officer can advise you further.

What happens if I have pets?

Most temporary accommodation providers do not accept pets. Exceptions can be made for assistance pets.

What are the rules of staying in temporary accommodation?

Most temporary accommodation providers have an agreement that lays out the terms and conditions of your stay. This may cover how you are expected to behave, rules about visitors and how much you are expected to pay. If you break the terms of your agreement, you could be evicted from temporary accommodation and our housing duty to you may be ended.