If you think that you may have to leave your present home, please get in touch for advice as soon as you can. We may be able to help you keep your home. If you are about to become homeless, the sooner you tell us the more we will be able to do.
People are homeless if:
If any of these circumstances apply, or are likely to apply within the next 28 days, then Ipswich Borough Council must provide you with assistance.
However, the Council only has a legal duty to find housing for certain people. This is detailed under the Housing Act 1996, Part VII as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002.
In the first instance you must be eligible for assistance. Most households will be, but if you are subject to immigration control you will need to ask for more information.
The law states that certain people have a Priority Need. Some examples of people who are considered to be in Priority Need are:
Vulnerable people include:
Each case is assessed individually. Please speak to a Housing Options Officer for more advice.
If you are not considered to be in Priority Need the Council does not have a legal duty to provide you with temporary accommodation if you become homeless. You will be given advice and assistance about how to find somewhere to live.
Further help can be obtained by contacting Shelter, a charity that works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness. The advice pages on their website offer information for anyone with a housing-related problem.
When assessing your case, the Council will consider if you are intentionally homeless.
People who are intentionally homeless are people who have deliberately done something, or failed to do something, that results in them losing their accommodation.
If you have a Priority Need but are considered intentionally homeless, the council will only arrange accommodation for a reasonable amount of time (for example 28 days) in order to allow you to find your own accommodation.
To have a local connection to Ipswich you, or anyone who normally lives with you, must have:
If you are in priority need and not intentionally homeless, but do not have a local connection to Ipswich, the council will usually ask another local authority to find accommodation for you, in a place where you do have a local connection.
If you have a Priority Need, are not intentionally homeless and do have a local connection with Ipswich, the Council can make accommodation available to you.
The Council's duty to accommodate you will continue until one of the following circumstances occurs:
All secure Council and Housing Association tenancies are allocated by means of Housing Registers (sometimes called Waiting Lists).
Further information is available in the Ipswich Homelessness Strategy.