I'm homeless or facing homelessness

Our homelessness service provides advice and assistance to all eligible households who are either homeless or imminently threatened with homelessness.    

Our Housing Options Team provide advice, assistance & support to all eligible households who are either homeless or imminently threatened with homelessness or those with a housing issue that could potentially lead to homelessness. This is done through a Housing Options interview.

Following the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 in April 2018, assistance is available to all eligible households & may result in a Prevention or Relief Duty being offered to you.

The Options team will establish the most appropriate course of action & assistance available to you & complete a comprehensive housing assessment to identify the problem & any additional support needs that you may have. They will then agree & complete with you a Personalized Housing Plan (PHP) outlining all action that will be taken by the Council & by yourself in order to resolve the situation & then regularly review the plan until a successful outcome is reached.

In the event of homelessness, depending on your individual circumstances the Council may have additional duty to ensure accommodation is available to you whilst the enquiries are undertaken & completed, however please be aware this is not an option for all cases.

We advise that you to contact us as soon as possible for advice and assistance in the event that you have a serious housing issue or potential threat of homelessness.

This can be done in person at our Sleaford Office, by telephone on 01529 414155 or by email at housingoptions@n-kesteven.gov.uk.

Opening times: Monday – Thursday 9am – 5pm and Friday 9am – 4.30pm.

Should you find yourself in an emergency situation, with nowhere to stay, outside these times please contact our out of hours service on 01529 308308.

North Kesteven District Council works in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council, all of the Lincolnshire District Councils and several other statutory and voluntary agencies in the Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy Group.

Working together to ensure appropriate advice and assistance is readily available to everyone who is either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, therefore enabling its prevention or its solution in securing suitable accommodation.

The partnership strives to develop and maintain the strategic aims developed for previous county-wide homelessness strategies; to continue

  • To prevent homelessness through early intervention and targeted prevention;
  • To increase access to good quality suitable accommodation;
  • To offer support where homelessness has already occurred.

Homelessness remains a complex issue, compounded by a time of austerity and economic challenge.  Our priorities for the Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy 2017-2021 are: 

  • Partnership - Developing and maintaining strategic relationships and partnerships;
  • Prevent - Preventing homelessness wherever possible to do so;
  • Protect - Protecting the most vulnerable from experiencing homelessness, including tackling rough sleeping;
  • Place - Ensuring access to the right type of housing solution;
  • Possibility - Ensuring a sustainable future for supported housing. 

You can download the Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy from the downloads section.

We provide a complete Housing Advice service to everyone who lives in North Kesteven, regardless of tenure.  Customers who are worried about losing their home will have an opportunity to discuss their circumstances with a case worker who will provide information, advice and practical assistance regarding housing rights, responsibilities and options available to them.

We aim to prevent homelessness wherever possible through our housing advice service and various prevention tools/initiatives.

We provide assistance to stay in your current accommodation through the following services:

  • Landlord Liaison/Negotiation
  • Family & Friends Reconciliation
  • Mortgage Assistance – including mortgage rescue & liaison with lender
  • Sanctuary Scheme –work to improve security to your home
  • Prevention Payments – one off payments (e.g. agency application fees)
  • Discretionary Payments – when there is a shortfall of housing benefit
  • Debt Management – inc income maximisation & liaison with lenders
  • Floating Support Service – practical assistance to enable them to remain in their home

We also provide assistance to find alternative accommodation through the following services:

  • Family Liaison
  • Landlord Liaison
  • Rent Advice & Deposit Guarantee
  • Referrals to other Housing Providers (e.g. Foyers)
  • Prevention Payments
  • Low Cost Homeownership

If you are worried about losing your home please contact us as soon as possible, ask to speak to a Housing Options Officer who will arrange a Housing Options Interview.

If you are threatened with eviction your situation is extremely serious and may result in you losing your home. There is no guarantee that a Court will not evict households with children, and the Council generally has no obligation to re-house people who are evicted for non-payment of rent or anti-social behaviour.

Don’t ignore the problem. There are things you can do and people who can help. But you need to act!

Read any letters you receive carefully.  It explains how much rent you owe.  If you’re not sure what it means, or why you've been sent it, get in touch with us straight away. 

Your rent is your responsibility. Even if you are getting benefit, it is up to you to make sure your rent account stays up-to-date. If you cannot understand why you have arrears, you still need to contact us so it can be sorted out.

Get free help and advice. We can refer you to the Council’s Money Advice Service for advice on benefits and help in managing all your debts, not just rent arrears.  You can also get your own advice from a solicitor or housing advice centre.

Your rent is a priority debt - if you don’t pay your rent, you could lose your home. The Council takes legal action because of rent arrears. In 2007/08:

  • 35 Court Orders were obtained against tenants who did not pay their rent.
  • 17 tenants were evicted because they did not pay their rent as ordered by the Court.   This included families with children, single people and couples. 

Contact us straightaway and we can agree with you what you can afford to pay. Make sure you contact your Housing Officer on 01529 414155 so we can agree with you what will happen next. 

The law in squatting is complex, and we cannot just ‘throw a person out’ who is squatting: there is a legal process that we must go through to repossess a property.  We regard a squatter as someone who occupies the property without obtaining the Council’s permission. 

If there are squatters in a Council property, we need to know about it so that we can start action to get them out, and then offer the property to a household on the waiting list.  A Court Order issued by the County Court is required to repossess a property from squatters. Once a ‘possession order’ is obtained a bailiff’s appointment will be requested and the squatters will be notified of the date of eviction.

If the squatter or occupant of the premises at any time makes representation or an application for re-housing, then they will be referred to the Council’s Housing Options Team.

Unauthorised occupants are in the main ‘left behind’ in a tenancy following the departure of the tenant. The tenancy is still in existence although the tenant is no longer resident.

Unauthorised occupation covers a multitude of situations including unauthorised assignment / exchange, people staying on following death of tenant, residents who have no right to succeed, children remaining after the parents have moved.

The Council cannot be expected to know what is happening in all the properties that it owns and we greatly appreciate the information we receive from our tenants. If you believe that a Council property is being used by squatters or unauthorised occupiers, please contact us and let us know. We will be extremely grateful for the information and you do not need to give your name and address.

The ALERT portal    

The "duty to refer" applies to designated public bodies with effect from 1 October 2018.

Lincolnshire has pioneered a countywide solution based on the ALERT portal to enable public bodies as well as our existing referral partners to be able to refer relevant cases to the local authority for assistance.

Please note that this may only be done with the applicant's consent.

The ALERT portal can be accessed online.

In the event that you are unable to access the portal you can also email housingoptions@n-kesteven.gov.uk.

Once you have accessed ALERT you should register your details as a new user and then follow through the prompts providing all the information that is requested including:

  • Name, organisation and contact details of the referring agency
  • Name and contact details of the client
  • Brief details of the current situation
  • Outline of current housing position
  • Future housing requirements outlined by client

Your referral will then be directed to ourselves and will be assessed within a 24 hour period.

The related documents can be found in the downloads section.

Should you have an urgent case to refer who is homeless now and it is outside of normal working hours, please contact our Emergency Team for immediate advice & assistance on 01529 308308.