First make an appointment with the homelessness officer – you can do this by either
a) Telephoning 01253 658658
b) You can also visit the Fylde Direct Offices to make an appointment with an advisor.
One Stop Shop
The Public Offices
292 Clifton Drive
This is located opposite Marks and Spencer supermarket on Clifton Drive
Appointments run in the mornings, afternoons are for emergencies only.
The Council operates an 'out of hours' Housing and Homelessness service in partnership with New Fylde Housing. You can contact them on 01253 642111 outside of normal working hours.
At your appointment
Fylde Borough Council has a legal duty to help people who are homeless (or about to lose their home) and who meet certain criteria. The criteria for deciding who we can help and what help can be offered is laid down in the Housing Act 1996 part VII (as amended 2002). The Homelessness and Housing Advice team is responsible for assessing your situation and deciding whether or not you meet the criteria and qualify for help from the Council.
If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness we will discuss the housing options available to you, and see if there is anything we can do to prevent you becoming homeless.
If your homelessness cannot be prevented and you have not been able to access other accommodation we will take a homeless application from you. We then carry out a number of checks to see if you qualify for help. These include:
a) Are you eligible to receive help?
b) Are you homeless?
c) Are you threatened with homelessness?
d) Are you intentionally homeless?
e) Do you have a local connection?
These are explained in more detail below
Am I for eligible to receive help?
Under the Housing Act 1996 you need to be classed as eligible to receive assistance with your housing problem. Asylum seekers or people who have recently arrived in the UK may not be eligible. We can advise you as to your status in this respect.
What is homelessness?
You are homeless if you have no home in the UK or anywhere else that it would be reasonable for you to occupy, or if you have been asked to leave your current home within 28 days. For example if a court has ordered you to leave, or you are living with family or friends who have asked you to leave, or you are unable to live in your home due to violence, serious disrepair or financial hardship.
If you are not homeless then we will offer advice to help you keep your current home or advise where you can find alternative accommodation.
What is "threatened with homelessness"?
This covers the situation where you will become homeless within 28 days, for example where you have an eviction notice to leave you current accommodation. While the law mentions 28 days we are pleased to assist clients facing a homelessness problem at any earlier stage.
The law offers a different level of help to homeless people classed as priority need compared to those who are non priority.
Priority need includes
- Persons who are pregnant or who have dependant children living with them. A dependant child normally means a child under 18 who is in full time education.
- Persons who are vulnerable due to their age or through having a physical or mental disability or illness.
- People subject to domestic violence and those made homeless due to an emergency such as a fire or flood.
- 16 and 17 year olds who are not in care
- People who are vulnerable because they are care leavers or who have been in care or been in prison or in the armed forces.
- Applicants who are vulnerable because they have been made homeless due to violence or threats of homelessness.
Part of our enquiries have to involve our considering whether you became homeless as a result of you doing something which deliberately caused you to lose or give your accommodation up e.g. not paying your rent or mortgage when you were able to afford these costs.
If you are found to be intentionally homeless the legislation entitles you to less help e.g. in the form of temporary accommodation for a short time only.
It is important for us to be able to assess your circumstances as fully and as fairly as possible so please be prepared to provide information about why you have lost or are about to loose your home.
You will have a local connection if you have lived in Fylde borough for 6 months out of the last 12 months, or 3 years out of the last 5 years, if you have permanent employment in Fylde, or if you have close family (mother, father, brother, sister) who have lived in Fylde for the last 5 years. We will also consider any other special circumstances for you needing to live in Fylde i.e. unsafe in the area where you do have a local connection. If you do not have a local connection to Fylde we will refer you to an authority where you do have a local connection.