Housing Options Service

  • Housing Options Service

    The Housing Options Service provides information, assistance and advice to help you to resolve your housing situation by keeping you in your home or by helping you to find alternative accommodation. Our emphasis is on the early intervention and prevention of homelessness.  The earlier you make contact with us, the sooner we can start to help you resolve your housing difficulties. If you, or someone you know is threatened with homelessness, please get in contact.  The earlier we know about your situation, the easier it will be to assist you.

    You don't have to be rough sleeping to be considered homelessness.  There are a wide range of situations which could mean you are considered homeless or threatened with homelessness.  These include:

    • You at risk of losing your home – this could be through the form of a notice from your landlord if you are renting or living in your landlords home
    • You are staying with friends or 'sofa surfing' and they have asked you to leave
    • You're at risk of violence or abuse where you are living. This can be from a partner, ex-partner, family member, or somebody else. Domestic abuse is not limited to physical violence or confined to instances within the home. Domestic abuse is any incident or a pattern of incidents of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (which includes physical, psychological, sexual, financial or emotional abuse).
    • You are street homeless or rough sleeping
    • You can't afford to stay where you are
    • You've been locked out of your properly or you have been illegally evicted
    • Your accommodation is in a very poor condition
    • Your relationship has broken down with your partner or close family and you cannot continue to live there
    • You have nowhere to put your houseboat or caravan

    There are many ways in which we can support you, including referrals to agencies to support you, assistance with sorting finances, advice on tenancy matters, negotiation and advocacy.

  • Contact Us

    You can contact us during office hours 9.00am to 5.00pm in the following ways:

    If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness or concerned about your current housing situation and would like to discuss your situation with a member of the housing options team, please complete the registration form on Jigsaw Customer Portal and your referral will be sent to a housing options officer who will make contact with you to discuss your situation.

    You can also meet face to face with a Housing Options Officer at our drop in Triage Service based in the Customer Service Centre at the City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, SO23 9LJ . An officer will be on duty Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm (please note duty will start at 1pm on Wednesdays and finish at 4.30pm on a Friday).

    Or make contact by: 

    If you have an emergency out of hours please contact 01962 865 405 

     

  • Homelessness Reduction Act 2017

    The Homelessness Reduction Act came into force on 3rd April 2018.  This has changed the way in which council's deal with homeless households following the introduction of a number of new duties which mean council's have to:

    • provide advice to all households and carry out work which aims to prevent homelessness and enables people can be supported to remain in their current home;
    • offer everyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness access to meaningful help, irrespective of their priority need status, as long as they are eligible for assistance; and,
    • carry out prevention and relief work for anyone threatened with homelessness within 56 days - even if you are not threatened within 56 days, we urge you to contact us at the earliest opportunity.

    Following a full housing assessment, you will also be provided with a Personalised Housing Plan detailing the steps he council and you will need to take to prevent your homelessness.

    The Government have produced a number of factsheets to explain the new legislation, which can be found here:

    GOV.UK - Homelessness Reduction Act Factsheets

     

     

  • Renting Privately

    If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, one of your options may be to rent a home privately. Following a full housing assessment, your housing options officer can advise and support you.  We may be able to assist with the loan of a deposit and rent in advance to secure accommodation.

    The Goverment have produced guidance to help you to understand your rights and responsibilities, what to look out for before rnting, living in a rented home, what happens at the end of a tenancy and what to do if things go wrong.  The guidance can be found

    here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/821379/6.5707_MHCLG_How_to_Rent_v4.pdf

     

     

     

     

 

  • Housing Options - Mental Health needs

    If you are homeless, threatened with homelessness or are experiencing difficulties in your accommdoation due to your mental health needs, please contact us for advice and support.

    'Together' deliver Mental Health support services in Winchester

    The levels of support Together provide are:

    • Intensive accommodation support for those that need high levels of support when recovering from severe mental distress.
    • Supported accommodation for people preparing to move on to independent living.
    • Community support for people that have moved into their own homes.

    Please see Together's website for information of the services provided Together Mental Health Support Services

    Please contact the Housing Options Team using the 'Contact Us' details above if you think you would benefit from mental health accommodation or support services. 

    Solent Mind run a wellbeing centre in Winchester which can offer signposting support and access to programmes to support your recovery.  Solent Mind - Winchester wellbeing centre information sheet

     

     

     

     

  • Housing Options - Domestic Abuse

    IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, PLEASE CALL 999.

    If you are a victim of domestic abuse, living within an abusive relationship, wishing to leave or find out what your options are, or if you have previously been a victim of domestic abuse and are looking at appropriate alternative housing options, we can advise you. We can support you with options to flee your home, consider a long term plan or help yu to remain safe in your own home with options such as legal remedies and target hardening.

    Please contact our service using the 'Contact Us' details listed above.

    Please remember:

    Domestic abuse is not limited to physical violence or confined to instances within the home. Domestic abuse is any incident or a pattern of incidents of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (which includes physical, psychological, sexual, financial or emotional abuse).

    Abuse is ‘domestic’ in nature if it is between persons who have been intimate partners, family members or members of the same household. Domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of gender, race, religion, economic background or sexual orientation.

    Other services:

    Stop Domestic Abuse Is delivering the local services for Domestic Abuse.

    The service can provide:

    • Support for victims - Accommodation and community based support
    • The Domestic Abuse Front Door - Assessment and triage process
    • Early Intervention and Prevention - Work to identify and address DA early and prevent the escalation of risk
    • Children/Young People - Dedicated support for children and young people
    • Links with perpetrator services

    All services are inclusive.

    Please visit their webpage or contact 03300 165 112 for support.

    National Domestic Violence Helpline A partnership between Women's Aid and refuge is a 24 hour service.

    The National Domestic Violence Helpline is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf. They can signpost to local services and provide information on refuges natonally.

    The Helpline can give support, help and information over the telephone, wherever the caller might be in the country. The Helpline is staffed 24 hours a day by fully trained female helpline support workers and volunteers. All calls are completely confidential. There are translation facilities for callers whose first language is not English, and a service for callers who are deaf or hard of hearing are available.

    Please contact 08082 000 247