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Walsall Council is committed to preventing homelessness where possible. We offer a range of prevention schemes such as:
Discretionary housing payments
We are also able to help negotiate with your landlord.
If you are homeless, or think that you are about to become homeless, we can offer you help and assistance. The first step is to call our housing options officers on 01922 653405 – we can then assess your situation and begin the process that will produce the best option for you. Everyone has the right to advice and assistance to prevent them becoming homeless, or to help them find new accommodation.
Further information can be found at www.homelessblackcountry.org .
Are you eligible?
Not everyone who is homeless is eligible for help with housing. If you are a British Citizen, a European Economic Area national or a settled person, you are likely to be eligible.
The legislation makes certain people from abroad ineligible for housing assistance. If you have no recourse to public funds or do not pass a Habitual Residency Test, we will be unable to help you, but can offer you housing advice. Please ring 01922 653405 for further information.
Are you homeless?
Homeless is a term which covers a range of situations which people find themselves in. You may be homeless if:
You have nowhere to stay tonight
You have been staying somewhere but have no legal rights to stay there and are being told to leave
You have been locked out of your home and told not to go back
You have somewhere to live but are likely to face violence if you return
You are forced to live apart from someone you normally live with, or who we consider it would be reasonable for you to live with
You are forced to leave your home because of harassment
You have a mobile home, caravan or boat but do not have anywhere to put it or anywhere that you can live in.
We will not usually consider you as homeless unless you are within 28 days of losing your accommodation, but we will investigate and try to prevent you becoming homeless before this. We can also provide you with advice to ensure that your accommodation remains available to you or to help you find alternative solutions to your housing problems. Please contact us for further information.
Are you in priority need?
The legislation helps decide the groups of people who are in priority need. You may have a priority need if your circumstances are such that they would make you more vulnerable or disadvantaged if you were homeless and would include:
Households with dependant children
Pregnant women
If you are homeless as a result of fire, flood or other disaster
Under 18's
Those who may be vulnerable due to old age, mental or physical illness or disability, suffering violence, or with an institutional background such as being in care, the army or prison.
People who are not in priority need will be provided with advice and assistance to help with housing problems. Please ring us on 01922 653405 for further information.
What if I make myself homeless?
The homelessness law says you are intentionally homeless if:
You deliberately gave up accommodation it would have been reasonable for you to have continued to occupy
You deliberately did something, or failed to do something, which you knew would mean losing your accommodation, for example due to non-payment of rent or anti-social behaviour
You made arrangements to stay in accommodation on an insecure basis which gave you no legal rights, with the intention of making a homelessness application
You failed to act on legal / financial advice / assistance that you have been given to help you find alternative suitable accommodation or to help you stay in your home.
If you are in priority need but homeless through your own fault, we have no duty to find you long term accommodation. We will help you by giving advice, assistance and short term accommodation, if you need it. Please ring 01922 653405 for further information.
Do you have a local connection with Walsall?
We will also be looking to see if you have a local connection within our area, this usually includes the following:
That you have lived in settled accommodation in our area for a minimum of 6 out of the last 12 months or 3 out of the last 5 years
That you have permanent employment here
That you have a close family member that has lived in the area for more than 5 years.
If you have no local connection to the area but fulfill all the other criteria, we will refer you to the Council where you do have the local connection.
If you are homeless as a result of fleeing domestic violence, you do not need to have a local connection.
Asking for a review
You will be notified in writing of any decision the Council makes on your homeless application. You may ask for a review on the following decisions:
Your eligibility for assistance
What duty (if any) is owed to you
A decision to notify another council that we are referring you to them
Whether the conditions are met for referral
What duty is owed if you are referred
The suitability of accommodation offered to you
How to make contact
Housing Advice Service
The Civic Centre
Darwall Street
Telephone 01922 653405
Fax 01922 653421
Textphone 01922 652715 (for deaf / hard of hearing)
E-mail housingadvice@walsall.gov.uk
Emergencies out of hours
If you have an out of hours emergency, contact 0845 1112836 and ask to speak to the Duty Social Worker. General advice will be available on the out of hours service.