The information below is for people who need to find somewhere to live after being released from prison or youth detention. We understand that a record of offending can make it harder for you to get accommodation, so you may need extra help.
If you are at risk of becoming homeless
We will consider you're at risk of becoming homeless if:
- you will be released within 56 days (8 weeks)
- you have no accommodation to which you can return – safely or by right – upon release
If you're at risk of becoming homeless you can approach any local council in England and make a homeless application.
The council will look into your needs and make a Personal Housing Plan to help with your housing problem. The plan would include all your housing options.
If you are homeless now
We will decide whether you have a 'priority need'. To find out more, go to Shelter: priority need.
If you do have a priority need, we will also check whether you need any extra levels of support or care, taking into account the effect your imprisonment has had on you. We will arrange temporary accommodation for you while we work with you to find somewhere that meets your needs
If you don't have a local connection with Thurrock, we may refer you to another local council for an area where you do have a connection. Being in prison or youth detention in Thurrock does not count as giving you a local connection here.
The council – either Thurrock or for an area where you have a connection – will work with you on a Personal Housing Plan, to find out what housing can meet your needs.
If nothing can be found within 56 days (8 weeks), the council may offer you accommodation if:
- you continue to have a priority need
- you are not homeless because of something you have deliberately done, or not done
If your offending resulted in the loss of your last home, you may be considered to be 'intentionally homeless'. This means the council would not have to provide housing for you.
If you do not have a priority need, we would not have a duty to provide you with accommodation but would continue to work with you to find long-term accommodation for you. We may also refer you to an emergency night shelter.
New Start scheme for single homeless people
The New Start scheme helps single people, including those with a history of offending, to access suitable private rented accommodation.
As well as helping you find accommodation, we would work closely with you and your landlord to help you keep your tenancy. The support we offer can include:
- help with Housing Benefit, Universal Credit and other benefit claims
- viewing properties with you and negotiating rent and deposit payments
- help with any changes in circumstances
- completing assessments with people who are in prison
- support to settle somewhere new
- supporting landlords with direct payments and deposits