If you are homeless now or due to leave prison in the next 8 weeks and don’t have anywhere to stay on release. You can apply for assistance here
Three Rivers District Council will -
- carry out an assessment of your housing and support needs
- give you a personal housing plan that sets out the steps you and the council must take to find suitable accommodation
- take reasonable steps to try and relieve your homelessness
We will work in partnership with the probation service, community Rehabilitation Company or youth offending team to decide what support you might need to find and maintain accommodation.
You can apply to any council for help but it’s usually best to apply to an area where you have a local connection. Being in prison in an area doesn't count as a local connection.
If you apply to an area where you don't have a connection, you can be referred back to the area you hold a local connection with. However High risk prisoners managed by a multi-agency protection arrangement (MAPPA) may be required to live in certain areas therefore they would have an exemption to the criteria.
Please note you won't qualify for any housing or support from the council if you don't meet immigration or residence conditions.
Three Rivers District council have a duty to provide longer-term housing if you meet the conditions for longer-term housing.
The council doesn't have to help with longer-term housing if they decide you are intentionally homeless.
Before you leave Prison
Before you leave you should liaise with a prison housing advice and resettlement service called Through the Gate. The service is delivered by charities including Shelter, St Giles Trust, St Mungos and Catch22.
A resettlement worker in prison can help you with things like:
- Referrals to suitable accommodation if you'll be homeless on release
- Dealing with a housing benefit claim while you're in prison
- Claiming universal credit on release
- Rent arrears or eviction
You can apply for the following grants before release:
- A £46 discharge grant
- Up to £50 for your first night's accommodation (paid direct to the housing provider)
You need a suitable address to stay at before you can be released on bail or home detention curfew (an electronic tag).
If you cannot live at your usual address, court or prison staff may refer you to the Bail Accommodation Support Scheme (BASS).
Contact Nacro's Resettlement Advice Service on 0300 123 1999 for further advice.
After you are released
You are allocated a probation officer in the area you'll be living in after release. Your probation officer manages your supervision in the community.
Your resettlement worker in prison works on your resettlement plan with your probation officer.
If you're released on licence, the conditions of your licence might mean you can't live in certain areas.
Probation teams can give you housing advice and may be able to refer you to a specialist hostel, supported housing or private landlords.
You probably need to claim universal credit unless you live or move in with a partner who's already claiming housing benefit.
You may also be able to get help through a:
- Discretionary housing payment
- Grant or loan from a local welfare scheme