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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Homelessness

homelessness

Stockton Council, along with partner organisations, is committed that households, or individuals, with housing difficulties do not become homeless.  We believe it is very important that homelessness is prevented wherever possible.

For those people who become homeless, it is important that there are sufficient facilities to help them, both temporarily and in securing settled accommodation in the longer term.

Already, our Housing Options services working through strong partnership arrangements with housing associations, private landlords and other agencies in the voluntary, private and public sectors, play a vital part in homelessness prevention, as the reasons people become homeless are numerous and often extremely complex.

However, we want fewer people in Stockton-on-Tees to experience the trauma of homelessness and ensure that those who do can find a permanent home as quickly as possible. We believe that by making our housing options service even more accessible for all the people who need it in our diverse community, we can go a long way towards preventing homelessness in Stockton-on-Tees.

If you are worried about becoming homeless, or you are already homeless, please get in touch with our Housing Options team as soon as possible. 

 

Help for homeowners

If you are having difficulty in meeting the mortgage payments it is extremely important that you contact your lender in the first instance to inform them of your difficulties.  Your home may be repossessed if you do not maintain the contractual payments.

Stockton Borough Council’s Homelessness Prevention Service, in partnership with Stockton & District Advice & Information Service (Citizens’ Advice Bureau), offers a free, independent and impartial advice service to homeowners who are experiencing difficulties in maintaining the contractual payments towards their mortgage.

The Specialist Homeowner Officer will discuss your income and expenditure to clarify your financial situation and advise you of your options.  They can contact your mortgage lender to negotiate an affordable repayment plan or discuss any other options, such as a payment break or interest-only payments.   If your lender has begun legal action to repossess your property, the Homeowner Officer may be able to represent you at county court hearings

Should your lender be granted possession of your property, the Homeowner Officer can refer you onto a Housing Officer within the Council’s Homelessness Prevention Service, who can advise on your rehousing options.

If necessary, the Specialist Homeowner Officer may refer you on to Stockton & District Advice & Information Service for other free and impartial advice, such as debt and budgeting advice, and benefit entitlement.

If you would like an appointment with the Specialist Homeowner Officer, please contact Housing Options on 01642 528389 (main number) or 01642 526598 (Specialist Homeowner Officer’s direct number) or email housing.options@stockton.gov.uk

 

Bond Guarantee Scheme

The aim of the Bond Guarantee scheme is to help those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness to access privately rented accommodation. 

Stockton Council's Housing Options team will provide the landlord with a guarantee in the form of a written agreement instead of a cash bond.

The guarantee will last for a minimum of six months and a maximum of two years from the start of the tenancy.

 

Who is eligible to apply to the Bond Guarantee scheme?

You may be eligible for help from the Bond Guarantee scheme if you can answer 'yes' to both of the following questions: 

  • Are you homeless or at risk of becoming homeless?
  • Do you have a local connection to the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees?

 

How to apply for help from the Bond Guarantee 

If you think you might be eligible for the Bond Guarantee Scheme and would like to apply, you will need to attend an initial interview with a member of the Council's Housing Options team.  At the interview, your current housing situation will be discussed.

A full assessment of your application will help us to decide if you are eligible for the scheme. We will need to make enquiries about your housing history, ask for references from previous landlords and will talk with other organisations that may support you.

If you qualify for the scheme, you will need to find an affordable property from a landlord who is willing to accept a guarantee in place of a cash bond. The landlord must be a member of the Council's Landlord Accreditation scheme, or must have at least applied to join the scheme.

The Housing Options team will liaise with the landlord to put the guarantee in place.

We reserve the right to refuse to provide, or withdraw a guarantee for any applicant or landlord who is not considered suitable for the scheme or who has provided false information in association with the application.

 

Apply for help from the Bond Guarantee Scheme

  • Apply to the Housing Options team for help from the Bond Guarantee scheme. Telephone: 01642 528389.
  • Contact the Private Sector Housing team on 01642 527797 to find out if a landlord is accredited and participates in the Bond Guarantee scheme.

 

Housing Advice emergency contacts

Emergency Duty team: 0870 240 2994

Police: 01642 326326

 

Help from other agencies

Shelter offer help and advice to those who fear they won’t be able to afford to pay their rent or mortgage.

Visit the Shelter website for further information or call their free helpline: 0808 800 4444.