Toggle menu

Wheelie bins

Latest updates on rollout of wheelie bins for refuse in Lewes district

Homeless? What help is available?

We have a duty to provide housing advice and assistance to anyone who is homeless or threatened with homelessness, however we do not have a duty to provide everyone with accommodation.

We have several self-help guides so that can help you can resolve your housing problem. If you require further advice and assistance, contact the Housing Solutions team. The team will assess your circumstances to decide what duty you are owed will advise you how to resolve your housing problem. You will be allocated a Specialist Advisor who will discuss your housing options with you. We also work with other organisations to help you with your housing problem.

Detailed enquiries concerning your housing situation will be conducted by your Specialist Advisor. So we can investigate your housing circumstances and provide you with correct advice and assistance, we need you to provide as much information as possible, including the following documents:

  • Proof of identity for every member of your household including children
  • Proof of parental responsibility for any children in the household (such as child benefit)
  • Proof of household income including recent wage slips, benefit award letters and the last 3 months' bank statements for all accounts
  • Five-year address history for all household members
  • Proof of medical conditions, prescriptions or additional supporting information for all household members
  • Details of any criminal record you and any other adult member of your household may have.

The following tabs describe the tests that will be applied when you first approach us for help.

Eligibility

You will usually be eligible for help if you:

  • Live in the UK, are a British citizen and haven't recently spent time living in other countries
  • Have refugee status or indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • Are a citizen of the European Union who is habitually resident in the UK and who has settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • Some other people from abroad are also eligible for help, depending on their circumstances.

We look at the eligibility of all the people in a homeless application.

Homelessness or threatened with homelessness

You will be considered as homeless, or threatened with homelessness, if:

  • You are at risk of homelessness in the next 56 days
  • You have no home in the UK, or anywhere else in the world, where you can live together with your immediate family
  • We consider that the property you live in is no longer suitable or safe for you

If you have a threat of homelessness but not within 56 days, contact the Housing Solutions Team for advice and assistance.

If you are threatened with homelessness, we will owe you a prevention duty and if you are already homeless a relief duty.

Your Specialist Advisor will work with you to draw up a personalised housing plan to identify the steps you need to take, and the steps we will take, to prevent you from becoming homeless or if you are already homeless to find somewhere else to live. We also work with other organisations to help you with your housing problem.

If you are homeless, we must decide on what accommodation duties you are owed, which is based on the following:

Priority need

We will investigate your circumstances to decide if, according to law, you are in priority need. This will affect whether we provide you with emergency accommodation. You will normally be in priority need if you or one of the people included in your application is in one of the following categories:

  • Pregnant women (and people who live with them)
  • People who are responsible for dependent children who live with you
  • People made homeless by fire, flood or other disaster
  • Applicants aged 16 or 17
  • People made homeless due to domestic abuse
  • Some care leavers
  • Other people who are particularly vulnerable

If we have reason to believe you are homeless and in priority need, we will provide you with emergency accommodation whilst we work with you to resolve your housing need.

If you are not in priority need, we will not provide you with accommodation, but will work with you to resolve your need.

Intentionally homeless

If you are in priority need, we must also assess whether you are 'intentionally homeless'.

We may find you intentionally homeless if you have lost accommodation because of something that you did, or failed to do, which led to you becoming homeless.

For example:

  • Not paying your rent or mortgage
  • Being evicted due to anti-social behaviour
  • Leaving accommodation where you could have remained

If you are intentionally homeless, we will provide you with accommodation for a short period.

Local connection

Eastbourne and Lewes councils are responsible for helping homeless people who are Eastbourne and Lewes district residents, or people who have applied to us for help because it is unsafe for them to live in the area where they usually live.

If we find that you do not have a local connection with us, we may refer you to another council for help.

We will not usually refer you to a borough where you would not be safe.

What happens next

You will need to follow the self-help guides to resolve your housing problem and take all reasonable steps to prevent or relieve your homelessness.

If further assistance is required, you will need to complete a Housing Solutions Assessment form and provide a copy of the following documents:

  • Proof of identity for every member of your household including children
  • Proof of parental responsibility for any children in the household
  • Proof of household income including recent wage slips, benefit award letters and the last 3 months bank statements for all accounts
  • Five-year address history for all household members
  • Proof of medical conditions, prescriptions, or additional supporting information for all household members

Once we have received your completed application form and documents, we will arrange a telephone assessment with you.

We will notify you in writing with a decision once we have completed our enquiries. This process will be quicker if you provide all the information that is required prior to assessment.

For guidance on making a homeless application and what to expect from us see our self-help guide -  Applying for assistance with housing when you are homeless or threatened with homelessness (PDF) [247KB]

If you are homeless tonight, or in need of urgent housing advice:

  • If you live in Eastbourne, please call 01323 410000
  • If you live in Lewes District, please call 01273 471600.

These numbers also operate outside normal, office hours for urgent homeless assistance.

See the self-help guides for more information:

If you are having difficulties paying your rent see our self help guide on rent arrears.

If you have been served with a Section 21 Notice to Quit, see our Section 21 Validity Checker.

If you think you have been unlawfully evicted, download our factsheet.

Unlawful Eviction fact sheet (PDF) [201KB]

Next steps

The quickest way to resolve your housing problem is to secure privately rented housing. The self-help guide on securing accommodation gives details on how to do this.

The Councils advertise some privately rented properties available through Eastbourne Housing Investment Company Limited, Aspiration Homes and Lewes Housing Investment Company Limited. If you want to be considered for any of these properties you will need to complete this application form. Applicants who are successful will be offered a 12-month tenancy.

You can apply for social housing via the housing register, not everyone is eligible to apply for social housing.

The qualification requirements and application form for the housing register can be found on our application form page.

We do not have enough homes for all the applicants on our waiting list. Social housing will not be an immediate solution to your housing problem and all housing options need to be explored.

The tables below show the number of people on the housing register by banding and bedroom size.

Eastbourne Borough Council
Banding1-bed2-bed3-bed4-bed5-bedTotal
A*8384023
A151441910215
B6210499330298
C282289154324761
C Retirement40000040
TOTAL5434402807041337

Retirement refers to retirement housing, also known as sheltered housing

Lewes District Council
Banding1-bed2-bed3-bed4-bed5-bedTotal
A*0752014
A70301640120
B703651203180
C334209161531758
C Retirement59000059
TOTAL5332822337941131

Retirement refers to retirement housing, also known as sheltered housing

How long is the wait on the housing register to be rehoused?

Band A - current waiting time 1-2 years.

Band B - current waiting time 2-5 years

Band C - current waiting time 5-7 years

Waiting times are typically less for retirement (sheltered) accommodation and for people with a local connection to a Lewes District rural parish.

Eastbourne Borough Council and Lewes District Council each have a separate council housing stock and separate waiting lists for their properties.

  • You can only apply for social housing in the area that you have a local connection to.
  • If you make a homeless application this does not automatically put you on the housing register, you need to make a separate application.

When your registration is completed, you will receive login details to the Homes First Lettings website. To be considered for available properties on the housing register you will need to bid on all suitable properties.