We aim to prevent and relieve homelessness wherever possible and work with a number of agencies including, but not limited to, Herts Young Homeless (HYH) and Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to help achieve this. We can provide one-to-one advice to help keep you in your home, or to help you source alternative accommodation, often in the private rented sector.
The advice we are able to give is dependent on your circumstances and includes guidance on:
- Private rented accommodation
- affordable home ownership
- mutual exchange (e.g. Homeswapper and Exchange Locata)
- hostels and refuges
- advice on Housing Benefit
- rent arrears and mortgage arrears
- applying to join the Common Housing Register
If you are homeless or worried about becoming homeless, you should contact us straight away via our Housing Assistance Referral Portal.
Agencies working with local people can can also refer those who are having housing problems to us via the Referral Portal.
We can offer advice and information over the telephone to assist, however, we may have to ask you to make an appointment and come into the office to discuss complex housing problems. You may also be asked to provide us with some background information. We have a much better chance of being able to help you or to find you alternative accommodation the earlier you get in contact.
Our duty to help
From 3 April 2018, all local authorities have new duties to help all customers who are are threatened with homelessness within 56 days or currently homeless, provided they are also eligible for housing. These new duties mean that the Council has to make every effort to help you prevent or end (relieve) your homelessness within a specified timeframe.
We try to assist each customer in preventing homelessness usually for a minimum of 56 days (although this can be longer depending on your circumstances) unless you become homeless before this time. If you become homeless, we will work with you for 56 days to try and help end (relieve) your homelessness.
As part of the new legislation, customers will be involved in an assessment and personal housing plan which will outline reasonable steps that you and the Council will need to take to help you secure accommodation.
We have a duty to help you to secure accommodation; this could be privately rented accommodation, lodgings, supported or hostel accommodation or even accommodation with friends and family.
The criteria around the homelessness duties are very specific so please contact the Housing Options Team directly for further information.
You will be asked to submit your contact via our Housing Assistance Referral Portal. A member of the team will then contact you to start the assessment process and plan a way forward.
Children aged under 18
Children under the age of 18 are still the responsibility of their parents. If you are worried about homelessness and are under the age of 18, the Council will work closely with Herts Young Homeless and Hertfordshire County Council’s Children’s Services section to help you to remain in the family home.
How to contact us
Please get in touch using the Housing Assistance Referral Portal.
The portal is available at any time of the day or night. Before starting, please make sure you are able to provide a valid email address.
You will be asked to provide personal details relating to you and all your household members, please ensure you provide the correct information.
Once completed a member of the Housing Options Team will then be in touch to find out more about your housing situation. We aim to respond within 2 working days. If after speaking with you the Housing Options Team believe you are at threat of becoming homeless or you are currently homeless, we will aim to offer you an appointment within 10 working days of you first contacting us.
Outside office hours
In an emergency, you can contact us on 01462 420600. The out of hours service should only be used in a real emergency that cannot wait until the office re-opens.
You should still try to complete the Housing Assistance Referral Portal if at all possible.