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Homelessness support and advice

If you're homeless or threatened with homelessness, we can help. We'll always try to prevent you from becoming homeless in the first instance.

There are lots of services to help you to stay in your current home, including help with tenancy issues or relationship breakdowns.

If staying in your current home isn't an option, we can help you look for a new home or other alternatives.

We also offer services to help if you're experiencing domestic abuse.

Ask for help with homelessness

Who has priority for housing when at risk of homelessness

We assess the vulnerability of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. By law, the following people have a priority need for housing:

  • someone who is pregnant, or who lives with a woman who is pregnant
  • someone with dependent children living with them, or if not currently living with them who it would be reasonable to expect to live with them
  • someone who is homeless because of an emergency such as a fire or a flood
  • someone who is vulnerable because of old age, illness, mental illness or disability or physical disability or any other special reason Someone who is vulnerable because of an institutional background in council care, the armed forces or in custody
  • someone who is vulnerable because they are homeless due to violence

These priorities guide our assessment of who receives help with their housing situation.

If you do not have a local connection with the Forest of Dean District but do have a connection with another authority, we will normally make a referral to that authority to provide housing, unless you would be at risk of domestic or other violence in that area. You will have a local connection if you:

  • are normally resident in the district
  • work here
  • have immediate family in the District who have lived here for at least five years
  • have any other particularly strong reasons that give you a connection with the area

Emergency accommodation

We can only assess your application for help if you are eligible for assistance. For example, if you are not entitled to welfare benefits because of your immigration status, we can only provide advice on your situation.

We will consider if:

  • there is anywhere that you are legally entitled to occupy
  • you can you gain entry to it if you have somewhere
  • your home is a caravan, houseboat or other mobile form of housing, is there anywhere you are entitled to park it and live in it
  • you would be at risk of domestic or other violence if you continued to occupy the home
  • there is any other strong reason why it would not be reasonable for you to continue to occupy the home

You are not intentionally homeless if the housing you left was not reasonable to occupy, or you were at risk of violence in the home. You are also not intentionally homeless if you acted in good faith while unaware of a relevant fact.

If your homelessness has resulted from your behaviour, we only have to provide you with temporary accommodation for a short period depending on your circumstances.

Out of hours assistance

 If accommodation is needed in an emergency outside of office hours please:

  • Please call our mainline number 01594 810000

Contact the housing team

Help rough sleepers

If you see someone bedding down or sleeping rough, please let us know by:

Duty to Refer the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and Homelessness (Review Procedure etc.) Regulations 2018 have introduced a legal duty on specified public authorities to refer service users that may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to a local housing authority in England. This is in force from the 1 October 2018. 

If you are a public authority specified within the legislation, or any other organisation wishing to make a referral to Forest of Dean District Council Ask us for Help with Homelessness .

The six Gloucestershire housing authorities are developing a county-wide procedure to support the duty. When making referrals, partners are expected to consult and follow this procedure and the principles of the local agreement within it. This will help realise the true potential of the duty for the people of Gloucestershire.

If you have any queries or problems completing a referral, please email

Complaints about the homelessness service

If you are unhappy with the decision that has been made on your homeless application or with the suitability of housing that has been offered, you have a right to seek a review of our decision.

You must request your review within 21 days of being notified of our decision. You have a right to seek help with your case for a review from an advice centre or solicitor.

Where you have been offered housing and wish to seek a review of the suitability, you have a right to both accept the offer and request a review.