If you at the risk of homelessness upon your release from prison or youth detention centre within the next eight weeks, you should complete a Housing Options Assessment Form or ask your probation officer, MAPPA or the prison (you are being released) to make you referral under a “Duty to Refer” on your behalf.
Following a referral, if applicable, whilst in custody the Housing Options team will arrange a telephone interview via the Prison and/or Probation Services in order to assess your needs, for the purposes of drawing up a Personal Housing Plan. The plan will confirm the steps you and your Housing Option’s Officer need to take to secure suitable and affordable accommodation. This may include engaging with support services that assist ex-offenders and looking for suitable private rented accommodation, under the Council’s Rent Deposit scheme.
You can apply to any council for help, but it is usually best to apply to an area where you have a local connection, either through having lived there, having family there or working there. Being in prison in an area does not count as local connection. If you apply to an area where you do not have a connection, you can be referred an area where you do. However, you would not be referred to an area if an injunction means you cannot go there, or you would be under the risk of violence.