If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless within the next 56 days, please contact Housing Options on 0300 126 3000. We offer free information and advice to anyone who is homeless or worried about becoming homeless.
We will give you advice based on your personal circumstances.
We can let you know what support is available to help you to stay in your own home. If that is not an option, then we can offer you help to find a different home.
Please see the sections below for more specialist advice dependent on your circumstances.
Whilst North Northamptonshire Council manages the Keyways housing register for applicants interested in accessing council and housing association properties to rent, there is a high demand for affordable housing in North Northamptonshire which cannot be fully met from available properties through the housing register. This means that customers with a housing need should also explore alternative housing options.
When you contact Housing Options we will take your details and then contact your parent or guardian. We will try to reach an agreement between you and your parent or guardian to see if you can return to your family home. This may include family mediation.
If you are not allowed to return to your family home, or it is unsafe for you to return, and there is no other family member who can accommodate you, we will then contact Children’s Services.
If you contact Children’s Services before contacting Housing Options they will make their initial enquiries and offer you emergency accommodation if required. They will then complete an assessment of your needs which includes an interview with the Housing Options Team.
If you contact Housing Options before contacting Children’s Services (and you are not currently known to Children’s Services) we will make our initial enquiries and offer you emergency accommodation if required. This accommodation will be available until the next working day, while we complete a referral to Children’s Services.
Whichever department you approach, accommodation must be arranged for you if you are assessed as being homeless.
Our protocol, Northamptonshire's joint housing protocol for 16 and 17 year old young people who may be homeless and / or require accommodation, explains in details how we provide support.
If you are under 18 and a ‘child in need’, you will be offered a safe place to stay and financial assistance from Children’s Services. This applies regardless of your nationality or immigration status. Children’s Services will carry out an assessment to see whether you are a ‘child in need’. If you are, they will become responsible for you and can help you with:
- Finding a safe place to live (this may be in for example; foster care, hostel for young people or supported housing)
- Paying for your accommodation
- Providing you with a personal advisor (PA) to support you
- Your PA will help you make a plan for the future, covering your wellbeing, housing needs, education, training and employment. This is known as a “Pathway Plan”
What happens after you turn 18?
If you have been ‘looked after’ by Children’s Services for at least 13 weeks between the ages of 14 and 18, including at least one day after your 16th birthday, some of their duties, including a PA could continue until you are 25.
What if you are looking for your own home?
No person under 18 can legally hold a tenancy therefore you must have a suitable guarantor to ensure you comply with the terms of a tenancy.
When looking for somewhere to live it is always important to think of how you will afford it. You need to consider rent and all other bills such as water, gas, electricity and council tax etc. You will also have food bills, your mobile phone and any social activities to consider.
The Housing Options Team will only assist you into accommodation that you can afford. If you do not pay your rent you will lose your tenancy.
When you turn 18 you are may be entitled to claim benefits.
Organisations that could help
Local support agencies
Change Grow Live (CGL) provide help and support to adults, children, young people and families with their services covering a wide variety of areas including health and wellbeing, substance use, mental health, criminal justice, domestic abuse and homelessness.
They provide a local service called ‘Substance to Solution’, sometimes known as S2S. They can help you to map out your personal recovery journey, including allocating you a Recovery Worker who can complete an assessment with you. Treatment options could include:
- Access to specialist prescribing and medically assisted recovery for opiate misuse
- Harm reduction information and access to needle exchange
- Advice and information about different drugs, how they work and the effects
- Access to mutual aid support with independent groups such as SMART Recovery, Cocaine Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous
- Opportunities to become a peer mentor or volunteer and to get involved with the S2S service user forum
- Parent & Families support with the Family Support Link
- Complimentary therapies via the Bridge Substance Misuse Programme
- Specialist services for stimulant and hallucinogenic substance misuse (separate non-opiate Induction, 1-2-1 appointments, and pod/group sessions)
- Pod/group sessions (i.e. New into Treatment, Stuck in Treatment, Using on Top, Foundations of Recovery, Health/BBV, Non-English pods)
- Peer led activities/key-skills (i.e. Breakfast club, cooking, coffee morning, IT suite)
- Referrals to other agencies and support networks to help build ‘recovery capital’
CAN Housing (part of Richmond Fellowship) offers a drop-in service for people in Northampton who need support with housing issues, drug and alcohol use, mental health and repeat homelessness.
Telephone: 01604 250 678
Bridge is a substance misuse programme based in Northampton that works throughout the country with hubs in Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough. Bridge links volunteers who have recovered from alcohol and/or drug misuse with people who have serious misuse problems. Bridge also offers recovery workers and advisors who specialise in benefits, housing and employment.
National support organisations
Action on Addiction is a UK-based charity that works with people affected by drug and alcohol addiction. Their experts provide life-saving treatment for individuals and families affected by all kinds of addiction including alcohol, drugs (prescribed and non-prescribed), gambling, gaming, sex and love, and some food-related disorders.
Telephone: 0300 330 0659
Addiction Dependency Solutions is a leading UK drug and alcohol charity operating throughout the North and the Midlands. They have a progressive ethos ensuring they stay outcome focused for the benefit of their clients.
Telephone: 0161 831 2400
Turning Point work with people who need support with drug and alcohol use, mental health, offending behaviour, unemployment issues and people with a learning disability. They aim to inspire and empower people to discover new possibilities in their lives.
Where appropriate, we may be able to speak with your friends/family and offer mediation services in order to help you remain whilst you seek alternative accommodation.
If your landlord has given you a valid notice that expires within the next 56 days, the council will be able to accept that you are threatened with homelessness. The objective of intervening earlier is that we can work with you to either help you stay in the property or assist with securing alternate accommodation.
The earlier that you contact Housing Options, the better. We will be able to work with you on the underlying reasons as to why the landlord has served notice. This will mean liaising with the landlord, Revenues and Benefits and other related services to resolve your housing issue. Where possible, we may be able to negotiate with the landlord to help you to remain in the property. If this is not an option, we can advise you of your rights and work with you to seek alternate accommodation.
To check whether your notice is valid, we will require some documents from you:
- A copy of the tenancy agreement
- A copy of the notice received from the landlord
- Proof of your deposit being secured in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme
- Electric and Gas (where applicable) safety certificates
Most tenants who live in a self-contained property have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, but if you are unsure you can check your tenancy type.
Personal Advisor (PA)
Every young person leaving care will have their own PA who will work with you to achieve the goals set out in your ‘Pathway Plan’. Your PA should keep in touch with you and provide you with support until you are 25.
This is a document you have created with your social worker that shows how you will develop the skills to live independently. It should identify:
- What your needs are
- Where you will live
- What money you will live on
- Your life skills
- Plan for your education, training or employment.
Children’s services must review your plan every six months and amend it if your needs change. Social Services can help you if you need support to continue with your education or find training or employment. They may be able to help with the cost of living near your college, training centre or workplace.
In care for less than 13 weeks
If you spent less than 13 weeks in care, or if you returned home successfully when you were 16 or 17, you won’t have a Pathway Plan or a PA. However, social services must provide you with advice and may give you assistance in exceptional circumstances.
Finding somewhere to live
Social services do not usually provide you somewhere to live after you turn 18, but they must plan what will happen with your housing via the following options:
- Staying Put: If your foster family agree, you could continue to live with them. Social services will pay them an allowance until you are 21 to provide you with ‘Supported Lodgings’.
- Housing Referral: Northamptonshire have a joint working protocol which means that your PA can refer you to your local council for housing and you may be awarded priority on your housing application should you meet all the criteria. The most important criteria that you are able to demonstrate is that you can live independently which will be documented in your ‘Pathway Plan’ and discussed at a joint meeting with you, your PA and officer from the Housing Options Team. If you contact Housing Options before contacting Children’s Service, then we will listen to you to find out about you and what help you are requesting. We will usually then contact Children's Service and work together with them to agree the help that is in your best interests.
- University housing: If you are going to university, then the university will help you to find somewhere to live during term times. Propel is an organisation that provides information about what each university offers care leavers and can be contacted on 0207 251 3117 or by email.
- Vacation accommodation for students: Social services must make sure you have appropriate accommodation if you are in full-time higher education and have nowhere to live in the vacation periods.
- Supported Housing: Supported housing gives you the opportunity to gain more skills and independence to prepare for adult life and includes sharing a house with several other young people, your own flat with a support worker who will visit you or your own flat or room in a building with several other young people and a support worker on site
- Specialist housing: If you have a disability or a learning difficulty then your Personal Advisor will help to ensure you are offered housing that is right for you with the right adaptations and/or support staff.
- Independent housing: You may be ready for your own tenancy. You can speak to your PA and ask for support if you feel it would be helpful for matters such as budgeting and money management. You can ask either of the two councils in Northamptonshire for help to live in their area, even if your care placement was outside of Northamptonshire. Your Personal Advisor will help you to decide which local council to approach.
- Joining a housing register: The housing register is a waiting list of people who qualify to rent a home from a council or housing association. This type of housing is in very short supply and there are long waiting lists in most parts of the country.
Centrepoint offers advice to any one in England aged between 16 to 25 who is worried that they may become homeless.
Telephone: 0808 800 0661
Coram Voice supports care leavers and children in care, including the hardest to reach and most vulnerable young people. They can help to make sure you are listened to and your opinions are taken into account when organisations like the council make decisions that affect your life.
No two people’s experience of domestic abuse will be the same. Don't suffer in silence:
- Do you feel scared of someone you live with?
- Is someone you love hurting you either physically or emotionally?
- Do you feel isolated or unable to meet friends or family?
- Does a partner or family member restrict your finances?
If you answered yes, then you may be experiencing domestic abuse. Domestic abuse can mean:
- Putting the person down or making the victim feel bad about themselves
- Playing mind-games and making the person feel they are stupid or going mad
- Enforced isolation from family or friends
- Trying to keep the person from getting a job
- Making the person ask for money or withholding money
- Actual or threatened physical harm
- Making another person do sexual things against their will
- Making someone afraid by smashing things and destroying things
- Making or carrying out threats to hurt someone emotionally - threatening to take the children away or commit suicide
It can be extremely frightening to speak out about the abuse you are experiencing because you may feel ashamed, embarrassed, scared or because you do not want anyone to get into trouble.
It is important to remember that it is not your fault, you are not alone and you do not have to deal with this on your own. There are agencies in North Northamptonshire who can help you by offering support and advice to take the first steps towards a safe and happy life.
If you would like to talk to someone about what is happening to you please call one of the numbers below:
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, or know someone who is, and there is an emergency that is ongoing or life is in danger, call 999 now.
If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned for someone who is, you can report this in the safety of your local police station. If you require a translator, we can provide someone to assist. In non-emergency cases and for general advice, please call 101.
You can also call the national 24-hour domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247.
If you are fleeing domestic abuse or need support in taking steps to remove yourself from the family home in a planned manner as a result of domestic abuse, we can provide advice and connect you with support agencies who can also help you.
We can let you know what support is available to help you to safely stay in your own home. If that is not an option, then we can offer you help and advice on how to find a different home and provide temporary accommodation if necessary.
We also offer an out of hours service if you need help in an emergency.
If you need emergency accommodation, please contact the National Domestic Abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247. They will discuss your circumstances with you and advise whether a refuge placement would be suitable. Please be aware that they may not be able to offer you a refuge locally. Alternatively, you can contact the agencies below to enquire about refuge placements.
Voice Northants offer emotional and practical support and information to male and female victims of crime, including domestic abuse. They will carry out an initial assessment to determine to determine how at risk you are.
Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service (NDAS) offers help to anyone affected by domestic abuse in Northamptonshire.
Eve provides ‘Restored’ a 6-12 month programme within refuge accommodation to enable female survivors of domestic abuse and their children, to achieve recovery, empowerment, resistance and lasting change for every family member.
Telephone: 01604 230311
Women’s Aid provides an online directory of local services for people experiencing domestic abuse.
Galop offers emotional and practical support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people experiencing domestic abuse.
Telephone: 0800 999 5428
True Honour help and support for all victims of honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital Mutilation victims of abuse.
Telephone: 07480 621711
Struggling with mortgage repayments
If you are a homeowner, you might be able to get help towards interest payments on:
- your mortgage
- loans you have taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home
This help is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). This is paid as a loan, which you will need to repay with interest when you sell or transfer ownership of your home.
Homeless Prevention Fund
The Council has a grant which can be used to assist households which we have accepted a duty to provide assistance to under the homelessness legislation. This grant could be used to clear some or all of your housing debt to prevent you from losing your home. A full assessment of your circumstances and financial situation will be carried out in order to establish whether the grant is appropriate for you.
Money Advice Service offers free, impartial money advice as well as having useful tools and guides available on their website.
Telephone: 0800 138 7777
Citizens Advice offer free support and advice on a wide range of matters, including financial hardship and managing debt.
Telephone: 0800 144 8848
StepChange are a national debt charity that offer free, confidential advice and solutions to help you manage your debt.
Telephone: 0800 138 1111
Shelter offers free, independent advice to anyone who is homeless or threatened with homelessness.
Telephone: 0808 800 4444
North Northamptonshire Council is committed on a local level to the Armed Forces Covenant.
Housing Options service can provide advice and support if you think you will be homeless after discharge from the services.
If you are required to leave MOD accommodation, please provide your Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement which you will receive 6 months before discharge. This certificate will indicate the date on which your accommodation will end.
In the event that you have not sought any housing assistance from the council prior to your discharge from the Forces you may need to stay in your accommodation as long as possible and wait for Defence Estates to evict you. Defence Estates have to give you a Notice to Vacate before they can take you to court in order for them to obtain a possession order. You can use any Notice to Vacate and any possession order that is obtained against you as evidence in support of your homelessness application.
North Northamptonshire Council may not have a duty to help you if you are homeless after being discharged on disciplinary grounds from the UK armed forces.
Usually you would be required to have a Local Connection to North Northamptonshire in order to secure social rented accommodation. However, certain members of the Armed Forces community are exempt from local connection requirements. These are:
- Those who are currently serving in the Regular Armed Forces or who were serving in the Regular Forces at any time in the 5 years preceding their application for an allocation of social housing.
- Bereaved spouses or civil partners of those serving in the Regular Forces where (i) the bereaved spouse or civil partner has recently ceased, or will cease, to be entitled to reside in Ministry of Defence accommodation following the death of their Service spouse or civil partner, and (ii) the death was wholly or partly attributable to their service.
- Serving or former members of the Reserve Armed Forces who are suffering from a serious injury, illness or disability which is wholly or partly attributable to their service.
- Divorced or separated spouses or civil partners of Service personnel who need to move out of accommodation provided by the Ministry of Defence.
You will gain priority on the housing register if you have an urgent housing need and are:
- a former or serving member of the Armed or Reserved Forces who need to move because of a serious injury, illness or disability sustained wholly or partly as a result of their service
- bereaved spouses or civil partners of those serving in the Regular Forces where (i) the bereaved spouse or civil partner has recently ceased, or will cease, to be entitled to reside in Ministry of Defence accommodation following the death of their Service spouse or civil partner, and (ii) the death was wholly or partly attributable to their service.
There are also supported housing schemes for single ex-service personnel in other areas of the country which do not require a local connection. Riverside Housing have schemes in North Yorkshire and Middlesborough for example. For further information please contact SPACES at Riverside at [email protected] or via telephone on 01748 833797.
Veterans’ Gateway is a good place to start if you want help with finding a home or keeping your home. They also offer support with employment, finance, health, personal relationships and mental wellbeing.
Veterans UK can help you to get the right support from the Government, local councils, and other organisations before leaving the armed forces. Veterans UK helps with housing, employment and welfare benefits. They can ensure you get a ‘Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement to Occupy Service Accommodation’ six months before discharge to present to the Council as proof of being threatened with homelessness.
Veterans Welfare Service provides support to people who are leaving the regular armed services and adjusting to civilian life. They can provide continuous support throughout life, and they also assist bereaved families.
The Royal British Legion helps serving and ex-serving personnel, and their families (including widows and relatives who have lost loved ones whilst in military service).
Telephone: 0808 802 8080
The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association helps veterans and service personnel and their families in the local community. They provide friendly advice and practical help with social, family and financial issues.
Amicus Trust provide support and accommodation for homeless veterans.
Spaces is a housing advice and placement service for veterans that helps the most vulnerable of Service leavers, regardless of rank, length of service, or reason for discharge.
Stoll provide affordable, high-quality housing and support services to enable vulnerable and disabled veterans to lead fulfilling, independent lives.
You could be homeless for a number of reasons including if you:
- face eviction from your site, encampment or tenancy
- have nowhere to legally park your mobile home
- need to leave your home due to violence
Help to find a pitch
If you are looking for somewhere to live you can apply for a pitch on a site owned by a local authority or a Registered Social Landlord (RSL). The Communities and Local Government department produce a list of these sites.
Northamptonshire Gypsy and Traveller Floating Support Service is available to gypsies and travellers currently living in authorised and unauthorised sites and those in bricks and mortar accommodation within the area of Northamptonshire who are experiencing one or more of the following problems:
- alcohol and drugs
- anti-social behaviour
- depression, emotional or mental health issues
- family difficulties
- immigration, birth certificate or passport issues
- neighbour dispute offending
- physical health issues
- problems with housing benefit, council tax, rent arrears or debts
- site allocation problems
- threat of homelessness and welfare benefits
Telephone: 01604 589350
Friends, Families and Travellers work with works all gypsy, Roma and traveller communities regardless of ethnicity, culture or background. They support individuals and communities experiencing disadvantage and inequalities, with the issues that matter most to them.
The Traveller Movement provide advice, advocacy and support for people from a gypsy, Roma or traveller background.
Telephone: 020 7607 2002
The Discharge Team at the hospital can refer you to the Housing Options Team at North Northamptonshire Council who will assess your circumstances and advise you of what support is available.
If you have a home already but you are unable to access it or the property needs to be adapted, then the hospital can refer you to North Northamptonshire Council for a Disabled Facilities Grant and adaptations to your property. This applies to homeowners, private tenants and those in social housing.
Does your home require adaptations in order to help you to continue to live there? If so, you may be able to get a grant from the council if you are disabled and require adaptations such as:
- Widening doorways and installing access ramps
- Improve access to facilities e.g. installing a stair lift or a downstairs bathroom
- Providing a heating system suitable for your needs
- Adapt heating or lighting to make them easier for you to use
An Occupational Therapist assessment will be required to see what adaptations are considered necessary, appropriate, practical and reasonable. You can contact North Northamptonshire Council for more information on how to to apply for a grant.
This is through the Children Act 1989 if there are children in the household, or the Care Act 2014 if an adult in the household has a need for care and support because s/he suffers from illness or disability.
For further details, please contact us.
If you wish to seek your own independent advice, you can do so by speaking with Shelter or Citizens Advice.
These dedicated services will liaise and work in partnership with local housing authorities to help deliver your resettlement plan and access services at a local level.
Your resettlement plan may include:
• Support to retain your tenancy
• Housing Benefit or Universal Credit entitlement whilst in custody
• Tenancy Rights, including how to protect a tenancy or terminate a tenancy appropriately
• Housing options for leaving custody such as the social/affordable housing register, supported accommodation and the private rented sector
• Support services for people with an offending history
Housing Options service can provide advice and support if you think you will be homeless upon release from prison. We will assess your circumstances and provide you with information about your options.
- Family: In most cases, particularly with young people, contact will be made with family to try and support a return home (if safe to do so). The Housing Options Team can also offer family mediation.
- Social / Affordable Housing: Please register a housing application via Keyways at www.keyways.org.uk. Due to the high demand on social/affordable housing this can result in long waiting times before you are successful in being offered a property, therefore you are strongly recommended to explore all alternate housing options.
- Supported Housing: North Northamptonshire Council has a referral pathway to supported housing in our area via Turning Point and Amicus Trust.
- Private Sector: Housing Options can provide you with advice and support if you find suitable private rented accommodation. We may be able to offer financial help for payments of rent in advance and deposits.
Support from Probation Services
Offenders serving sentences of 12 months or more are released on licence and live in the community supervised by the probation service until the end of their sentence.
If you are released on licence, your probation officer may be able help you find accommodation, as long as you have spent a continuous period of at least twelve months in custody.
Financial support upon release from prison
All prisoners are given a discharge grant paid for by the prison when they leave. This is money to help with your costs until your benefits are sorted out.
If a prison housing adviser has found you accommodation for your first night, you may be given a higher discharge grant (approximately an extra £50), which is paid directly to the accommodation provider.
You may be able to prepare for your release when you are in prison by saving some of your prison wages. You could consider opening a credit union account when you are in prison. Please ask at the prison for more details.
Changing Lives (formally Mayday Trust) provide direct support through their unique personal transitions service.
Telephone: 0191 273 8891
Amicus Trust supports homeless individuals, often with complex needs, by providing accommodation and support tailored to the needs of the individual.
Turning Point provides supported accommodation for single homeless applicants. A referral can be made to Turning Point by your Housing Options Officer.
CAN Northampton provide supported housing that is tailored for each individual with the ultimate goal to help you manage your accommodation and assist you with reintegration back into independent living and the wider community. You can complete a self-referral on their website or ask your Probation, Resettlement or Prison Officer to refer you.
Telephone: 01604 250678
It is likely you will need to provide supporting documentation such as proof of medication or confirmation of a formal diagnosis.
The Housing Options service will:
- Attempt to provide you with access to mainstream healthcare services and refer you to support services according to your needs through the Personal Housing Plan that will be completed in partnership with you.
- Refer you to partner agencies to provide you with support and supervision and access advice and guidance from specialist services, who will provide more in-depth support to you.
Local support agencies
The Short Term Enablement and Prevention Service works with people whose social care needs arise from a mental health difficulty. The teams adopt a strengths-based approach to help individuals maximise their independence and potential.
CAN Housing (part of Richmond Fellowship) offers a drop-in service for people in Northampton who need support with housing issues, drug and alcohol use, mental health and repeat homelessness
Telephone: 01604 250 678
National support organisations
Crisis Telephone Support Service is a 24-hour a day telephone support service. This service helps when you feel unsafe, at risk, or unable to cope.
Telephone: 0800 917 0464
Papyrus Hopeline UK is dedicated to the prevention of young suicide and offers a safe space to talk for:
- Children, teenagers and young people up to the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide
- Anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide.
Age UK Northamptonshire provides money advice, a handyperson, hospital aftercare and homecare as well as companionship and other information and advice for older people.
EAC Housing Care provide information for older people provides free advice and a directory of sheltered housing, extra care housing, retirement villages, residential care homes and nursing homes including sales and lettings vacancies. They also have a Housing Options for Older People service which provides information and advice on a range of housing related matters including help to live safely in your home, adaptations to improve your home and options for moving.
We can also let you know if you have any legal rights to remain in the property you were residing in and give you tailored housing options advice.
Relate provide relationship and family counselling. They offer WebChat support as well at telephone and face-to-face support.
Telephone: 01604 634 400
Community Law Services provide advice and representation to help with welfare benefits, housing, debt and immigration.
Telephone: 01604 621 038
Gingerbread supports single parent families with anything from dealing with a break-up to sorting out your money.
Telephone: 0808 802 0925
Housing Options can provide free, tailored support and advice as well as helping you to engage with support agencies that will be able to help you. Provisions are available throughout North Northamptonshire to provide those that are sleeping rough with hot meals, showers and practical support.
Last updated 24 August 2023