Housing Advice

Housing Advice

The Housing Advice Team provides free housing advice.  We aim to prevent homelessness by offering advice and assistance to allow you to remain in your own home or we may be able to help secure alternative accommodation by looking at all housing options.  A Housing Officer will work with you to try and prevent you from becoming homeless or to relieve your homelessness.

The Housing Advice Team works in accordance with the Housing (Wales) Act 2014

 

Who do I contact if I have a housing issue?

Pembrokeshire County Council Office hours:

Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Contact the Duty Housing Officer on 01437 764551 or via e-mail hp&ateam@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

If you are going to be homeless that night, please visit the Duty Housing Officer at North Wing, County Hall, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA61 1TP.

 

Outside of Pembrokeshire County Council Office hours

Friday 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Monday.

Contact the Duty Social Worker from the Out of Hours Team on 03003 332222

 

What is homelessness?

‘You may be homeless if you’re sleeping rough, don’t have rights to stay where you are or you live in unsuitable housing. Even if you have a roof over your head you can still be homeless.’ (Sheltercymru, 2018)

 

What situation counts as being homeless?

You don’t have to be sleeping on the streets to be classed as homeless. You might also be legally homeless if you are:

  • Temporarily staying with friends or family
  • Staying in a hostel or bed and breakfast
  • Living in very overcrowded conditions
  • At risk of violence or abuse in your home
  • Living in poor conditions that affect your health
  • Living somewhere that you have no legal right to stay in (e.g. a squat)
  • Living somewhere that you can’t afford to pay for without depriving yourself of basic essentials
  • Forced to live apart from your family, or someone you would normally live with, because your accommodation isn’t suitable.   (Sheltercymru, 2018)

 

What if I am homeless tonight?

If you are considered to be homeless that night, the duty officer may offer you the following options;

  • Temporary or emergency accommodation subject to a risk assessment being done (this may be either within or outside of Pembrokeshire, depending on individual circumstances)
  • Provide you with information so you can acquire a rough sleeper pack.
  • Mediation with your family/friend/partner/landlord etc. to allow you to stay overnight.

*Please note, this list is not exhaustive and will depend on your circumstances.

 

What can the Council do to help me with my housing problems?

A Housing Officer may be able to help you with:

  • Filling in a Housing Application form to join the Council’s Housing register. For more information Choice Homes Pembrokeshire 
  • General housing advice, including:
  • Advice about renting privately
  • Advice about renting from the Local Authority or Housing Association
  • Advice about what to do if you are having difficulty paying your mortgage
  •  Mediation with your family, landlord or mortgage company.
  • Signposting to other agencies who may be able to help.
  • Basic legal advice about housing.
  • Basic financial and debt management advice.
  • Referral to the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team for enquiries in relation to validity of notices and also for defects or potential hazards.
  • Making arrangements to attend the Council Offices for an appointment with a Housing Officer, dependent on your individual circumstances.

 

Who else might be able to help me with a Housing problem?

The following organisations work alongside the Council and the service it has a statutory duty to provide, and may be able to help or support you with your housing problems.

Shelter Cymru  

Shelter Cymru Head Office, 25 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5NN

Tel: 0345 075 5005 

Website: Shelter Cymru

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9:30am – 4pm

 

Pembrokeshire Care Society

19 Market Street, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA61 1NF

E-mail: pcs@pembrokeshirecaresociety.org.uk

Tel: 01437 765335 Free phone: 0800 783 5001

Website: Pembrokeshire Care Society

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10am- 4pm

 

PATCH

PATCH HQ, The Old School, Waterloo Road, Hakin, Milford Haven, SA73 3PB

Email: contact@patchcharity.org.uk or tracy@patchcharity.org.uk

Tel: 01646 699275 Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 9am - 2pm

Mob: 07775571431 Monday – Friday from 9am – 4pm 

Website: Patch Charity 

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10am – 2pm

 

Citizens Advice Bureau

43 Cartlett, Haverfordwest, SA61 2LH or 38 Meyrick St, Pembroke Dock SA72 6UT

Email: advice@pembscab.org

Local Tel: 01437 806070 / National Helpline: 0344 477 2020

Website: Pembrokeshire CAB  or  Citizens Advice Bureau 

Opening hours   

 

Infoengine

 

Homeless or threatened with homelessness

You would need to attend an appointment with a Housing Officer who would help you to fill in a Housing Needs Assessment to assess your housing need – this is a known as Section 62 Assessment as per The Housing (Wales) Act 2014. You can be accompanied to your appointment by a friend, family member, advocate or support worker.

You would need to bring the following documents with you (or make arrangements with the Housing Officer to provide this information at an agreed later date):

  1. Proof of Identification e.g. Passport, Driving Licence, Birth Certificate.
  2. Proof of child benefit (if you have dependent children within your household that will be moving with you) e.g. bank statement showing income or Department for Work Pensions (DWP) benefit letter.
  3. Income and expenditure details e.g. bank or building society statements (last three months if possible)
  4. Details of any medical conditions e.g. copies of GP/Consultant letters, Occupational Therapy reports, repeat prescriptions.

*Please note that this list is not an exhaustive list and the Housing Officer can provide further details as required.

 

Please see the housing needs assessment appointment factsheet for further information on what to expect at your appointment.

 

What happens after my appointment?

Your Housing Officer will then make a decision in line with the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 legislation which will be based on the information provided in your Housing Needs Assessment and any further enquiries made by your Housing Officer. This decision will determine what help or assistance, the Local Authority has a duty to provide you with, if any. The decision may be one of the following:-

  • Section 60 - Duty to provide information, advice and assistance
  • Section 66 - Duty to help to prevent homelessness 
  • Section 73 - Duty to help to secure accommodation

 

What will my Housing Officer and I do to resolve my Housing problems?

Create a Personal Housing Plan with tasks that you and your Housing Officer will need to do in order to help you find suitable, sustainable and affordable accommodation. This will detail the reasonable steps that you would both need to take in accordance with the relevant legislation. These could include:

  • Searching for properties in the private rented sector.
  • Saving for a bond and/or rent in advance in order to acquire a tenancy.
  • Apply for bond assistance for a suitable property in the PRS.
  • Completing relevant, legally required checks to support a bond application e.g. the landlord/agency MUST be registered with rent Smart Wales.
  •  Ensuring your Housing application is up to date and the correct banding is awarded to reflect your circumstance.
  • Making relevant referrals to supporting agencies.
  • Engaging with support workers and/or agencies.
  • Proactively attempting to find other accommodation, e.g. making relevant bids on your choice homes application.
  • Receiving a written copy of the help you can expect from the Housing Department.
  • Keeping each other updated of any changes in circumstances.

 

*Please note that this list is not exhaustive and your Personal Housing Plan will be based on your individual circumstances and regularly updated as required.

 

Homelessness Strategy Action Plan 2019-2023 

 

 

 

ID: 1764, revised 16/05/2019

Hostel

Hostel Facilities

The hostel provides temporary accommodation for those customers who have approached the Local Authority in relation to a housing need. Please note that this accommodation is provided in accordance with the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, and will be offered to those customers deemed eligible and also subject to a risk assessment. The facilities offered at the Hostel are similar to those you would find in a Hotel or B&B

  • Rooms - We do supply bedding, cutlery, kettle, and fridge. We do not supply toiletries.
  • Communal kitchen - We do supply microwave, toaster, and oven. We do not supply food.
  • Communal lounge – We do have a TV with Freeview and sofas. We do not have Wi-Fi.
  • Communal bathrooms – We do have a shower, bath, toilet and sink. We do not have ensuite bathrooms in our rooms.
  • Laundry Room – We do have washing machines. We do not supply laundry detergents.
  • Computer in foyer – To be used appropriately, not for personal use e.g. social media
  • Access to a hoover

Please note that there are some local organisations who may be able to assist you with some of the aforementioned items, for example PATCH. Please request further information from the Hostel Wardens regarding these organisations.

 

What do I need to bring to the hostel?

  • I.D for housing benefit e.g. passport, driving license, birth certificate
  • National Insurance number
  • Clothes
  • Toiletries/Laundry detergent
  • Food

Staff will take a photograph of you when you arrive at the hostel. This is for safety purposes. Your photograph will be stored in a locked cupboard and destroyed when you leave.

Please note that if you do not have ID you would be expected to obtain this at your earliest opportunity, and further information on how to obtain this can be requested from the Hostel Wardens and could involve, but not be limited to contacting the Register Office in the area which you were born for a copy of your birth certificate.

 

Rules of the hostel

As part of your placement at the Hostel you will need to sign and adhere to the terms and conditions of the license arrangement which you will have signed during your initial attendance at the Hostel.

  • One visitor at a time – you are responsible for their actions
  • Residents are not allowed into each other’s rooms
  • Need to get permission before staying away from the Hostel overnight.
  • No alcohol, drugs or weapons permitted
  • Smoking only permitted in designated smoking area
  • If you put a TV in your room, you will need to buy a TV license.
  • Respect other residents and staff – any forms of abuse will not be tolerated
  • No pets allowed
  • Clean up after yourself in your room and communal areas
  • Do not use the hostel for immoral or illegal activity
  • Do not lend money to other residents

If rules aren’t followed, there is a warnings process in place.  Please note that the Hostel Manager will determine the level of warning and also if the non-compliance with Hostel license conditions is deemed significant then you will be asked to vacate the premises immediately, and it may be unlikely that you will be offered any further accommodation by the Local Authority.

 

Resident’s responsibility

  • Arrange for pets to stay somewhere for the duration of their hostel stay
  • Support yourself and your family or seek support from organisations
  • Clean up after yourself
  • Bid on properties on Choice Homes website
  • Complete actions on Personal Housing Plan
  • Wash own bedding

 

Staff responsibility

  • Signpost residents to services for help and support
  • Wardens cannot offer advice
  • Provide help with paperwork and admin tasks

 

FAQ

Will I get Wi-Fi in the hostel?

No, this is not a service we provide.

Who can I contact out of office hours?

You can phone the Out of Hours Duty Service on 03003 332222

Can I just turn up to the hostel in the evening if I haven’t got anywhere to stay?

It is not a direct access hostel and any placements need to be made through the Housing Advice Team or the Out of Hours duty service.

How do I bid?

Please visit Choice Homes Pembrokeshire or phone 01437 764551 where the Contact Centre can bid on your behalf.

How long is the average stay at the hostel?

There is no average stay. Each case will depend on individual’s circumstances.

Can I lose my place at the hostel?

Yes, if you do not follow the hostel rules or do not engage with your Personal Housing Plan, you risk losing your place.

Is there car parking?

Yes

Is there storage/space for my belongings?

You will need to organise storage for your furniture/belongings. You will be provided with a bed, wardrobe, fridge, table and chair. You will need to bring clothes, toiletries, laundry detergent and food.

What happen if I don’t pick up my stuff when I’ve left the hostel?

We will remove your belongings if you don’t pick them up within 28 days of leaving

Is there a phone I can use?

There is a phone you can use, however this is not for personal calls

Will I have to pay full rent for the hostel if I get a job?

All residents of the Hostel will be required to complete a Housing Benefit form when they arrive at the Hostel.  The completed form will then be submitted to the Council’s Revenues Services Department who will then using a means-tested assessment of the amount of Housing Benefit, if any, you will be eligible for. 

Please note that the amount you will need to pay towards the Hostel will be dependent on this assessment and the minimum amount payable is £10.99 per week. 

 

ID: 1765, revised 16/05/2019