We are currently in the process of reviewing our Homelessness Strategy 2008-2013. The consultation on the draft Homelessness Strategy 2013-2018 has now closed and the final document will be presented to Cabinet over the coming months. Once approved the new strategy will be available to view online.
Homefinder Service has moved
The Homefinder Service has moved from Charlotte Terrace, South Shield to 25-27 Market Place, South Shields, on the corner of Market Square.
Your Homefinder service provides housing advice and assistance to anyone affected by homelessness.
If you are homeless, or if you feel you are threatened with homelessness, please contact the Homefinder Service on 0191 424 6456 / 6567 so we can carry out an assessment of your needs.
No appointment is necessary, housing advice and assistance can be accessed by visiting our office at the Homefinder building (opposite South Shields Town Hall).
Do I qualify?
An assessment will determine if you qualify for emergency accommodation, such as a furnished council property, a hostel or a bed and breakfast. A charge will be applicable for accommodation provided.
If you have left your property without reasonable cause, it could be decided that you have made yourself homeless. Therefore, you may not be entitled to a new home from the council.
We will investigate all applications. Whether you are offered housing will depend on your individual circumstances and housing needs.
What do I need to bring to the interview?
The following information must be brought with you to your interview to support your application.
- Your tenancy agreement
- Notice to quit your home, and/or court order
- Name and address of your landlord
- Proof of income and any entitlement to benefits
- Mortgage and secured loan agreements
- Birth or marriage certificates
- Details of social workers or support workers
- Relevant medical information
- Proof of pregnancy if applicable
Can you find me a new home?
If we decide that you are Statutory Homeless (meaning you have done everything you can to prevent yourself from becoming homeless), we will try to arrange housing for you with:
- South Tyneside Homes (Your Choice Lettings)
- A Housing Association
- (If you agree) A short-hold assured tenancy with a private landlord
- Shared ownership scheme
- Access to affordable housing
If you feel that the property offered to you does not meet your needs you may request a review of the suitability of the property whether you accept it or not.
However, if you reject the offer and the review panel concludes that the offer was suitable, the council will consider its duty to you as a homeless person to be ended. No further offer will be made.
If requested, we can arrange storage of furniture for people who are accepted as homeless and help with accommodating pets. Please note there is a charge for this service.
What can the Homefinder Service do?
They can provide you with advice on your rights to remain in your home, your options for re-housing and offer practical assistance in preventing you becoming homeless.
What happens during a homelessness interview?
The Homefinder Service will interview you and gather information about your circumstances. You will need to provide them with as much information to support your application.
Relevant documentation and information includes:
- your tenancy agreement
- a Notice to Quit or Court Order
- name and address of your landlord
- proof of income and entitlement to benefits
- mortgage and secured loan agreements
- birth or marriage certificates
- details of social workers or support workers
- relevant medical information
- proof of pregnancy
- all letters and correspondence from banks, building societies or other lenders etc.
If you are accepted as Statutory Homeless (i.e. you have done everything you can to prevent yourself from being homeless) the Council has to find accommodation for you. This may either be a council property, a housing association or a short-hold assured tenancy with a private sector landlord or other suitable alternative with your agreement.
What if I am homeless and have nowhere to go?
If you are homeless and your friends or family cannot provide you with somewhere to live, the Housing Options Service will seek to help you find emergency temporary accommodation. This may be a Council property, Bed and Breakfast accommodation or a hostel.
We aim to issue a homeless decision as quickly as possible thus reducing the amount of time you stay in temporary accommodation.
What will happen if I cannot take my pet into temporary accommodation?
The Homefinder Service can arrange for your pet to be kennelled, a charge is applicable for this service.
What will happen to my furniture if I am made Homeless?
The Homefinder Service can arrange for your furniture to be stored, there is a charge for this service.
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