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Losing your home is a stressful experience. Most people manage
to find somewhere else to live without help but this is not always
possible. Depending on their circumstances, people who are
threatened with homelessness or about to become homeless can be
helped by Medway Council but they should do everything they can to
keep their home.
It is important to remember that potentially homeless people may
be able to stay in their homes. They should never assume they do
not have the right to remain. Anyone who is worried about losing
their home should seek advice. When deciding whether the council
may have a duty to find alternative accommodation, it has to
consider whether a person or a member of their household:
- is eligible for assistance;
- is homeless or likely to be homeless within 28 days;
- has a priority need for assistance;
- became homeless intentionally;
- has a local connection with Medway.
The council will need information to help it decide what help
can be provided. When someone says they are homeless, it must make
a full investigation of their circumstances.
A person is defined as homeless if:
- they have no accommodation anywhere that they can legally
- they cannot regain entry to their property;
- it is not reasonable for them to continue living in their home,
taking into account the general housing situation in the area;
- they are at risk of violence if they remain in their home.
They are considered to be threatened with homelessness if it is
likely that they will become homeless within 28 days.
Who is eligible for assistance?
Not all homeless people are eligible for assistance from the
council. Asylum seekers or people subject to immigration control,
for example, are excluded unless they fulfil specific status
conditions. Similarly, people who fail the habitual residency test
set by the Home Office are not eligible for housing assistance.
People are considered to be in priority need if:
- they have dependent children under the age of 16 years (or
17-19 years if they are in full time education) living with
- a member of their household is pregnant;
- they are 16 or 17 years old and the Children and
Adults Directorate does not have a duty to assist them;
- they are 18-20 years old and were looked after, accommodated or
fostered when they were aged 16 or 17;
- they are homeless due to fire, flood, or similar
People are also considered to be in priority need if a member of
their household is assessed as vulnerable as a
- long-term illness;
- mental health needs;
- physical disability;
- other special needs;
- old age;
- being looked after, accommodated or fostered;
- fleeing violence (or threats of violence);
- spending time in the armed forces;
- having been in prison or remanded in custody.
People who are homeless but do not have a priority need will be
offered advice but cannot be provided with emergency accommodation
by the council.
Someone can be intentionally homeless if they had a home that
they could have stayed in but gave up deliberately or lost through
their own fault. This could have happened some time ago and the
home need not necessarily have been their last address. Some
- deliberately not paying the rent or mortgage even though they
had the money to do so;
- not following advice given by either a housing advice centre,
Advice Bureau or solicitor;
- getting evicted because they broke the terms of their tenancy
- making an arrangement to be evicted in order to take advantage
of the homelessness legislation;
- leaving accommodation available to them that was reasonable for
them to continue to live in.
Anyone who is homeless through no fault of their own and in
circumstances beyond their control is unlikely to be treated as
If someone is considered to be intentionally homeless, Medway
Council will only provide emergency accommodation for a limited
period to allow them time to find alternative accommodation and
will give them advice and assistance in their efforts to find
somewhere to live.
A person may be considered to have a local connection if they or
anyone living with them has:
- lived in Medway for six months in the past year or three years
in the past five years;
- a close family member living in Medway, who has lived here for
the last five years and is still resident: close family members
include mother, father, son, daughter, brother or sister;
- a permanent job in Medway.
People without a local connection may be referred to another
council with which they have a connection. That council will have a
duty to provide accommodation in its area. If someone has a local
connection to more than one council's area, they can say which
council they would prefer to be referred to. This will not be done,
however, if they will be at risk of domestic violence in that
council's area. There are also exceptions for certain people, e.g.
armed forces personnel.
If you think you are homeless or about to become homeless
Contact Medway Council using the contact details below or use
Homelessness advice form.
To help the council deal with your claim, you will need to
provide certain documents. These may include:
- notice to quit;
- court orders;
- tenancy agreements;
- birth certificates;
- divorce papers;
- proof of pregnancy;
- proof of income;
- child benefit book;
- proof of residency.
Homelessness standards and performance
You can find details of the homelessness service you can
expect in the Housing Solutions Service
Standards and information about its performance elsewhere on this
If you are homelessness, as defined by legislation, and have
nowhere to stay or you have been accepted as in priority need or we
consider you may have a priority need, Medway Council may provide
you with temporary accommodation.
Unfortunately there is a very high demand for housing in Medway
and because of this there is a strong possibility that the council
may only be able to provide bed and breakfast (B&B)
accommodation. Every effort will be made to avoid this if at all
possible. Alternatively, the council can assist anyone who may be
interested in trying to find their own accommodation.
The council is available to assess
people for temporary accommodation
and provide it 24 hours a day, 365 days a
You can access this service through Riverside
One. Out of hours, an officer is always available on
01634 304400 to help with arranging temporary
accommodation if you are eligible for assistance, homeless and have
a priority need.
You can also attend a specialist surgery for further advice or
If you are unable to attend one of our contact points, please
contact a dedicated Liaison officer on 01634
333834 to arrange for a Prevention Visiting Officer to
visit you in your home or at an alternative site (for example a
hospital or refuge).
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