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Birmingham City Council

Help for homeless people

If you believe you have nowhere to live or are about to lose your home we may be able to offer you advice on other options to prevent your homelessness. The network of neighbourhood offices across Birmingham provides homeless prevention advice and information for all customers ranging from council tenants to private tenants to owner occupiers to people who don't have their own home. Home Options is a high quality, multi-agency advice and homeless prevention scheme.

If you are experiencing Domestic Violence or antisocial behaviour and need to leave your home immediately, go to the neighbourhood office during office hours or phone the emergency accommodation out of hours number: 0121 303 2296 or go to the nearest police station if outside of office hours.

Birmingham Housing Options

Birmingham Housing Options is a website run by Birmingham City Council to help people with housing problems. It provides guidance to advisors and the public on the housing options available to people in a wide range of situations, including those who are faced with homelessness. It includes fully searchable details of over 380 hostels, advice and support services.

Birmingham Housing Options gives detailed guidance on what to do in a range of housing situations, for example: dealing with neighbour disputes, relationship breakdown, money and debt, applying for council housing and what help is available to someone who is homeless. It explains how Birmingham City Council can help, as well as where to go for independent advice and how to find out further information about your rights.

http://www.birminghamhousingoptions.org/

Our duty to you

If you have nowhere to live, or are unable to continue to live at your current address, Birmingham City Council may have a responsibility to help you find alternative suitable accommodation.

Part VII, the Housing Act 1996 sets out the type of help we can give you, depending on the priority category you fall into and whether you are homeless as defined by the law.

If the city council has reason to believe that you are homeless, and your circumstances place you in one of the priority categories given below, the city council must provide Temporary Accommodation as a minimum response to your homelessness. If you do not fall into one of the priority categories listed below, we may be able to find you accommodation through the normal applications process. However, we only have a duty to assist those in priority need.

How do I make a homeless application?

First an appointment will be arranged to see a homeless interviewer who will complete a homeless application with you. This is your opportunity tell us everything about your housing need and how you believe to have become homeless or threatened with homelessness. You will be asked to attend a local neighbourhood office at a pre-arranged time. Once you make a homeless application, the city council is required to undertake investigations of your homeless circumstances and provide you with a decision as to what duty is owed to you. The city council aims to give you a decision in writing within 33 working days of your application.

Temporary Accommodation

If you are homeless as defined by legislation, and have nowhere to stay, and you have been accepted as in priority need, or we think you may have priority need, we may provide you with temporary accommodation. We are available to assess for and provide temporary accommodation 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

Your case will be allocated to a Homeless Officer who will investigate your application.

We provide a 24 hour service, so if you become homeless outside normal office hours you can telephone our emergency housing number on 0121 303 2296 or go to any police station. An officer will be available to help you.

Offer of Accommodation

Where we accept that we have a legal duty to help you, we will make you one offer of accommodation. We can offer you any property type unless you have a medical need that means you must have a specific type of accommodation. Although you may request particular areas of the city, you could be made an offer anywhere in Birmingham, unless you have exceptional reasons or a specific need to live in a specific area of the city.

There is a great demand for accommodation in some areas of Birmingham and we have a limited supply of properties with more than three bedrooms. To increase the likelihood of you receiving an offer of accommodation we suggest that you are flexible with your areas of choice, unless you have a specific need to live in a particular area of the city.

Right to review of homeless decision

If you are not satisfied with the homeless decision, you have a right to a review.

The request for a review must be made within 21 calendar days of the date of the decision letter.

We aim to complete the review of your decision within 56 calendar days of receipt of your review request. Where the review will take a longer period of time, we will contact you to agree more time for us to make a decision.

If you are in temporary accommodation you need to request to stay in the providing accommodation pending the outcome of the review.

Homeless Service Customer Satisfaction Survey - Your Feedback

In November 2007 the Homeless Service conducted a customer consultation exercise, which involved asking you what you thought of us, and what we could do to improve.

Open the attachment below to find out what we are doing to carry out the improvements recommended to us.

How to contact us

You can telephone us on 0121 303 7410

You can email us at: homelessService@birmingham.gov.uk

You can fax us on 0121 464 7610

You can write to us at:

Homeless Service
PO Box 15782
Birmingham
B2 2RG

or you can visit a neighbourhood office.

Emergency out of hours number 0121 303 2296.