The Council gives a very high priority to the service that is provided for those families and individuals who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.
We will always try to prevent this from happening because we recognise that the experience of becoming homeless or being threatened with homelessness can be very stressful and can have far reaching effects on peoples lives. West Somerset is an area of scarce affordable housing and people often have to spend long periods of time in temporary housing whilst waiting for permanent accommodation. As well as preventing you from becoming homeless, the housing officer will speak to you about your housing options and how to find private rented accommodation.
We must make in depth enquiries into the reasons why a person is homeless or threatened with homelessness. This is to ensure that only those cases which fulfil the criteria under the homelessness legislation, are offered temporary accommodation. If a person does not fulfil these criteria we will still offer them help, but in different ways. If you rent a home in the private sector and your landlord has told you that you must leave, contact our offices to speak to a housing officer as soon as possible. The housing officer will give you advice and assistance about your situation.
If you have been living with family or friends who tell you that you must leave, you should contact this office as soon as possible to speak to a housing officer. If a friend or relative asks you to leave their home, you are still entitled to ‘reasonable notice’. The housing officer will explain to you what ‘reasonable notice’ is.
Again we will try to prevent you from becoming homeless. Our enquiries in these circumstances usually include a home visit. We may expect you and the person asking you to leave to go for mediation to help you resolve any issues.
We will make very specific enquiries in these circumstances. The Council has to make sure that everyone is treated fairly – there have been instances in the past of individuals trying to use a homeless situation as a quick way to independent living.
You will be given advice and assistance to help you resolve your situation.
Other agencies who may be able to assist you
People Can – 01823 253915
Offer help and support to single people aged 16-65 years.
On alternate Fridays Novas hold 'open door' sessions in Minehead between 9.00am – 12.00pm at West Somerset Council Customer Centre, 1 – 3 Summerland Road.
Shelter – 0300 330 1234
Apsley House, Tower Street, Taunton
If you wish to see a Shelter Advisor and are unable to go to Taunton you can book an appointment to see one of their advisors at the West Somerset Advice Bureau. Please note this is by appointment only.
West Somerset Advice Bureau – 01643 704624
The Lane Centre, Market House Lane, Minehead
If you are still at college, you can speak to the Connexions worker at the college who can give you help and support