Homelessness is when someone is sleeping rough, doesn’t have rights to stay where they are or live somewhere that is not suitable for them
What is homelessness?
Homelessness is when someone is sleeping rough, doesn’t have rights to stay where they are or live somewhere that is not suitable for them.
You don’t have to be sleeping on the streets to be homeless, even if you have a roof over your head you can still be homeless. For example, you could be sofa surfing, or staying in a hostel, night shelter or bed and breakfast. This is referred to as ‘hidden homelessness’.
Even when your situation appears hopeless, there are sometimes ways to avoid becoming homeless. Sometimes you may be able to do this yourself, or you may need specialist help. Whatever your situation it is best to seek advice sooner rather than later, contact Shelter Cymru for specialist advice.
What should you do if you are homeless?
If you are homeless or in danger of losing your home within 56 days and cannot stay with family or friends you should phone Pontypridd housing advice centre on 01443 495188, or if it is out of working hours 01443 425011. You need to ask to make a homelessness application, once the council accepts your application, they will carry out a full assessment so that they can decide what help and support you are entitled to. During the assessment you will need to be interviewed, depending on the urgency of your situation you may be interviewed on the same day or you may be given an appointment to go back.
What you should bring with you to the interview
- I.D (birth certificate, passport, driving licence)
- Proof of income (screenshot of universal credit, bank statement showing income)
- A letter from the person who has asked you to leave
- Eviction notice
- Medical information (copies of GP/consultant letters, occupational therapy reports, repeat prescriptions)
- National insurance number
- Income and expenditure details (last three months bank statements)
- Tenancy agreement
- Court possession papers
- Proof of child benefit if you have dependent children (child benefit letter, bank statement)
- Proof of pregnancy (scan, pregnancy book)
If you do not have the required information, you can discuss this with the housing officer on the day.
What help are you entitled to?
The help that you are entitled to will depend on your individual situation and whether you are currently homeless or likely to be homeless within the next 56 days. The council will accept a homelessness application from you and carry out an assessment of your housing and support needs, provide you with advice and support on your individual housing situation (benefits, referring you on to other agencies/support, helping you negotiate with landlord or mortgage lender).
However, the council only has to provide you with emergency housing if you are homeless, eligible for help and have priority need.
If the council suspects that you are homeless, eligible for help, in priority need and have a local connection to the area it has to provide you with emergency accommodation whilst looking into your situation further. Once the council has completed a full assessment, if they decide that they must help you find somewhere to live, the emergency accommodation can continue until then.
If you are under 18 and homeless and you can’t stay with family or friends you can make a homelessness application with the council and you will automatically be priority due to your age, however you cannot get your own tenancy until you are 18. You will be eligible for temporary accommodation from the council whilst they consider your case, usually you will then be placed in a hostel until you turn 18 when you can get your own tenancy.
If the council finds that you are not in priority need, they have no duty to help you find or secure accommodation but they should still provide you with general information and advice on your situation. If you are in emergency accommodation and the council finds that you are not priority you can be asked to leave.
You must be informed of their decision in writing, stating why the council has come to their decision. You have the right to request a review of the decision within 21 days. If this happens to you, you should get advice immediately to see if you can challenge the decision. If your review is unsuccessful contact Shelter Cymru where an adviser can help you consider your alternative housing options.
For more information please visit our page on ‘How can I get help’
- Shelter Cymru – Case Worker for RCT is is Joanna Syms; email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone number: 07773797150
- Shelter Cymru Support Near You Search Tool
- Pontypridd Housing Advice Centre – 01443 495188
- Platfform – 01443 845975
- Llamau – 029 2023 9585
- Women experiencing Domestic Abuse and Homelessness can also contact the National Women’s Aid Helpline 24 hours a day on 0808 2000247
- Men experiencing Domestic Abuse and Homelessness – RCT Housing Advice Centre can offer a referral to The Dyn Wales and to the Montgomeryshire Family Crisis Centre.
- Emphasis Project Worker YEPS- Lauren Chapman 07385086155