Emergency Applications

The Homelessness service is an emergency service and we have a duty to help only those people who meet strict criteria. However we will always try to help you to avoid becoming homeless in the first instance.

If you think you are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless please contact us immediately using the details shown on this page.

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If you make a homelessness application your case will be passed to a dedicated Homelessness Officer to consider your application in more detail.  The process will involve an interview, investigation and decision.

Further information can be seen on our ‘quick links’ page or our leaflet ‘homelessness’ .

The officer will also consider the cause of your homelessness to assess whether you have caused your own homelessness or as the law describes it, become 'intentionally' homeless. This could apply to households who have previously been evicted for non-payment of rent or anti social behaviour. However we will need to consider whether any previous actions were made out of choice.

We will consider what duties we owe to you and what powers the law makes available to us to assist in housing you. In making a decision on your homeless application we have to consider Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 and the Homelessness Act 2002.

In making our decision, we will need to consider your eligibility for public funds, whether we consider you to be homeless, whether you have a priority need, whether you maybe considered intentionally homeless and finally whether you have a local connection to Cornwall.

If we consider that you are eligible, that you are genuinely homeless and you have a priority need we will offer you temporary accommodation.

Priority need can apply to the following groups of people:

  • 16/17 year olds
  • Pregnant women
  • People with dependant children
  • People made vulnerable as a result of old age
  • People made vulnerable as a result of a physical or mental health problem
  • People who are homeless as a result of a fire/flood or other emergency

This list is not exhaustive but is intended to act as a guide. 

We will then finally consider your local connection to Cornwall, which would usually be met by residence of 6 in the last 12 months or 3 in the last 5 years, although family or employment connections can also be relevant.

If we find that you do not meet one of the criteria as outlined above we will write to you explaining this, you would then have a right to review that decision and your case will be passed to a Senior Officer to reassess. If you do chose to challenge a decision you would be advised to seek legal advice or assistance from Citizens' Advice. It is important you make any challenge to a decision in writing and within 21 days of receiving your letter.

If we do consider you meet the criteria set out in the law  we write to you informing this and give you the relevant priority on the Housing Register where you will be advised to bid on available properties and work with our Move-on Team.

It is important to note that if we do accept a duty to house you permanently and you are successful for a property through Homechoice and we consider the property to be suitable and reasonable for you, if you refuse it we may not be able to assist you further.