For individuals who are homeless and have no fixed address you can contact New Hope Trust which is a local homelessness charity based in Watford, which provides emergency accommodation for homless people. It also provides a day centre, a night shelter and longer-term accommodation, plus a full range of support services.
New Hope can be contacted on their 24/7 emergency line: 0300 012 0168. You will then be able to speak to a member of the New Hope team who is based at the Sanctuary Night Shelter.
The charity operates an outreach service to engage with rough sleepers in TRDC and Watford. If you are concerned about the welfare and safety of someone sleeping rough in TRDC, please call New Hope: 01923 801382.
Advice and Assistance from TRDC
If you tell Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) that you are homeless or if you are threatened with homelessness you can speak with a member of the housing team at our offices or via the phone.
The Housing Team will ask you to explain your current situation in depth and will look at your housing need. TRDC has a duty to try to prevent homelessness so the advice that you will be given will be to try and ensure that you can stay in your current home. We will look at all of the options available to you including your right to make a homeless application.
If required your case will be allocated to a Housing Options Officer (caseworker) to investigate the situation. Your Housing Options Officer would make enquiries under the Housing Act 1996 as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002 and Localism Act 2011.
Once in depth enquiries have been made into an applicants circumstances a Local Authority will owe a duty to secure accommodation for an applicant if they meet the following criteria;
- You are homeless or threatened with homelessness within 28days
- You are eligible for assistance
- You are in priority need
- You are unintentionally homeless
- You have a Local Connection to TRDC
If the Council considers you to be homeless, eligible for assistance and in priority need, it will ensure you have temporary accommodation available for your occupation whilst a full investigation is made into the circumstances of your homelessness.
Further if you are considered unintentionally homeless and have a local connection to TRDC we will owe you a duty to secure permanent accommodation for you either in social housing through the Choice Based Lettings Scheme or in private housing through the Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme. Please see further details of our policy for Private Rented Sector Offers.
What if I am not in priority need?
- You will be offered advice and assistance to try and prevent you becoming homeless
- The Council would not owe a duty to provide you with temporary or permanent accommodation
- You can be referred to alternative support agencies and housing providers, Social Services, Herts Young Homeless Group, mediation services, Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and financial advisors.
Am I Intentionally Homeless?
The Council may decide you have made yourself intentionally homeless if:
- You deliberately did, or failed to do, something. This could be because:-
- You didn't pay your rent or mortgage when it was consider affordable to do so.
- You were evicted for anti-social behaviour
- You chose to leave a property that it was reasonable for you to remain in
- You arranged to be made homeless, i.e. arranging for your landlord to evict you.
This list is not exhaustive, each case is assessed on it's own merits.
Please be aware that should you be found intentionally homeless, the council will have NO duty to provide secure accommodation. Once an intentionally homeless decision is made you will be given 28 days to vacate the temporary accommodation and that will be the end of our assistance to you.
What if I don't have a local connection with Three Rivers?
- If Three Rivers District Council decides you are eligible for assistance, homeless, in priority need and are not intentionally homeless, but have no local connection, then a referral is made to the council you do have a connection with, so they can help you further.
- If you have no local connection anywhere then assistance and advice will be given by the first authority you approach
If you are fleeing Domestic Violence, a local connection is not necessary.
What if I disagree with the council’s decision?
If you are told that we do not have an obligation to secure you accommodation, you will receive written notification of our decision. This notification will advise you of your right to appeal against the decision and how to go about requesting a review.
What is the Reviews Procedure?
An applicant has 21 days from the date in which they receive their decision to request a review
An applicant then has 14 days from the date of the review requested to provide further information for consideration
Reviews are considered and determined by an independent reviewer, who will not have been involved in the original decision. The reviewer will look at the information on your file, along with your written submission and any further evidence in support of your appeal.
The Reviewing Officer has 56 days from the date of the review request to make a decision on the case.
- Three Rivers District Council, Three Rivers House, Northway, Rickmansworth, Herts WD3 1RL. Tel: 01923 776611
Citizens Advice Bureau
- Abbots Langley Office, The Old Stables, St Lawrence's Vicarage, Abbots Langley, Herts. Tel: 08444 111444
- Rickmansworth Office, Northway, Rickmansworth, Herts. Tel: 08444 111444
- South Oxhey Office, Bridlington Road, South Oxhey, Herts. Tel: 08444 111444