Homelessness support

Homelessness legislation

We will use relevant housing legislation and guidance to assess your housing needs. This is set out in part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 as amended by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

Whilst we will assist all eligible households threatened with homelessness or who are homeless by carrying out a housing needs assessment and providing help, if we are unable to prevent or relieve your homelessness we will then consider the rest of the legislation against which you will be assessed.

Read an overview of the homelessness legislation

Who we can help

To find out if we able to help you, we need to determine the following:

Proof of identity

We cannot help you without proof that you have a legal right to stay in the UK. This proof can be your:

  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • worker registration scheme documents.

Intentionally homeless

There are some cases where it many be decided that you are ‘intentionally homeless’. This is where your actions have resulted in you becoming homeless, such as:

  • you did not pay your rent or mortgage when you could afford to do so.
  • you got into debt knowing that you could not pay back the money without losing your home.
  • you purposefully created a situation knowing it would lead to you becoming homeless.

If any of the above apply, we will only be able to offer you advice and assistance to find somewhere to live.

You have a connection to Woking borough

This might be that you have:

  • lived here for six out of the last 12 months
  • lived here for three out of the last five years
  • a permanent job in the borough
  • close family (parents, brother or sister) who have lived here for the past five years
  • special reasons why you must live in the borough.

If you do not have a connection to Woking borough, we will normally refer you to another area where you do have a connection.

If you do not have a connection with any area, we can only house you if we have a duty of care under the current homelessness laws.

You have a priority need

You may have a priority need, if you:

  • have dependent children who live with you on a permanent basis
  • have a member of your household who is pregnant
  • have a member of your household who is vulnerable
  • are unable to stay in your present home due to fire or flood
  • are fleeing from domestic abuse
  • are 16 or 17 years old
  • are between 16 and 21 years old and are leaving care
  • are vulnerable as a result of being looked after, accommodated or fostered
  • are vulnerable as a result of being in the armed forces
  • are vulnerable as a result of being in prison.

The above needs are a guide and there may be other situations which mean you have a priority need.


Contact our housing options team or to make an appointment to talk to us.

Phone: 01483 743 834

Email: housingoptions@woking.gov.uk

Reviews and appeals

If we can't help you, you have 21 days from to appeal against our decision and ask for an independent officer to look at the decision again.