The Housing Options Service

Becoming homeless? Register here for a speedier response (Housing Jigsaw)

What should I do?

If you are homeless, or think that you are about to become homeless, we can provide you with help and advice. Please use the advice pages and relevant links on this page.

If you still need our assistance, we may be able to prevent you becoming homeless, or help you find new accommodation. We may be able to help you keep your home. The earlier we know about your problems the more we can usually help.

If you are homeless or facing homelessness, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can assess your situation in detail.

  • The quickest way to start, is to use the button below to register online. This will send your details to our homeless system, Housing Jigsaw

Make a homeless enquiry (Housing Jigsaw)

  •  if you dont have internet access call us on 0300 1234 161
    (Please note: you can speed things along by using the Jigsaw link above)

If you are insecurely housed (sofa surfing) but have somewhere temporarily to stay, please make a homeless enquiry in the first instance and an officer will contact you.

Seek immediate advice if you are homeless or believe you may lose your accommodation.

What will Cornwall Housing Ltd do?

We will offer anyone who approaches our service an appropriate housing options interview to assess your housing circumstances. We have to investigate your circumstances to consider how we can help you.

We will deal sensitively with your situation as we understand that this is a difficult time.

What will happen if I approach the service because I am either threatened with homelessness or homeless?

You will be asked to supply identification for your household, and if relevant the contact details of the person asking you to leave. We may not be able to help you if you do not provide this.

We will give you a link so that you can set up a Customer Portal account with Housing Jigsaw. The easiest way for you to provide your documents is by taking a photo of them, then upload them to your Customer Portal.

You will be given an Assessment. This can take around 1 hour and will be a holistic and complete assessment of your circumstances.

If you:

  • are eligible for housing services in the UK and
  • homeless or you are going to be homeless

you may be given a named caseworker to create a Personal Housing Plan with you.

You should keep trying to obtain alternative accommodation yourself regardless of any appointment you may have with an Officer.

Creating a personal housing plan

We will agree with you with a ‘personal housing plan’ which will tell you what we can do to help you and what you can do to help yourself. The plan will be aimed toward either preventing or relieving homelessness.

The plan might include actions such as attending appointments with Employment and Skills services or visiting letting agents to secure yourself alternative accommodation.

You must complete the actions that you agree to undertake in this plan.

Preventing and relieving homelessness

We will always try to help to prevent you from becoming homeless.

This will involve liaising with your landlord or whoever else may be asking you to leave so we will need you to supply their contact details.

If you are already homeless, we will try to help you find alternative affordable accommodation. This may involve bidding for you on suitable properties or making you a formal offer of private rented accommodation.

Keeping in contact

Please make sure that you keep in touch with us as your case progresses. We will contact you regularly at appropriate intervals depending upon the urgency of the situation. 

Emergency accommodation

Emergency accommodation will always be a last resort and Cornwall Housing only secure accommodation for households in a priority need category.

Customers are responsible for the cost of emergency accommodation. If you are eligible for Housing Benefit it will cover the majority of the cost. However, if you are earning too much, or have savings or assets over £16,000 you will need to pay the full costs.

Pets are not usually allowed in emergency accommodation. The location could be anywhere in Cornwall, and you could have to move between units depending upon availability. Moving into emergency accommodation will not increase your banding.

Making a referral/ Housing Jigsaw

Make a homeless referral (Housing Jigsaw)

Enquiries Cornwall Housing Ltd may make about you

 Cornwall Housing Ltd has to make enquiries to establish whether you are considered to:

  • be homeless or threatened with homelessness 
  • be eligible for assistance 
  • be in priority need 
  • be intentionally homeless 
  • have a local connection with this area 

Examples of these enquiries are:

  • Visits to your current and previous address; Written enquiries to Building Societies, Banks, Parents, Friends, Solicitors, Landlord, other Authorities, Employers, Schools, Police and other Council departments as considered appropriate eligible for assistance
  • Written enquiries will be made to the Immigration & Nationality directorate and the Department of Work and Pensions as appropriate 
  • You will have to produce relevant documentation to confirm your status in the UK including passports, Standard Acknowledgement Letters etc. if appropriate Priority Need 
  • Children’s birth certificate will be needed  
  • Child custody / residence orders will need to be seen 
  • Pregnancy certificate or confirmation of pregnancy will be needed 
  • Written enquiries will be made to the Child Benefit Agency, GPs, Hospitals, Schools etc. as appropriate 
  • Information on health problems and medical details will be needed Intentional Homelessness 
  • Reasons for your current circumstances will be needed 
  • Written enquiries will be made to Building Societies, Banks, Landlords, Finance Companies, Solicitors as appropriate to establish the reasons for your homelessness Local Connection 
  • Enquiries will be made as to your length of residence in a particular local authority area 
  • Where you have family associations 
  • Where you are employed 
  • Whether you would be ‘at risk’ of violence in a particular area We are required by law to make these enquiries to ensure that the Council makes an accurate assessment of your case. When we have finished our enquiries, we will write to you explaining our decision and the reasons for it. If the decision is that you are not entitled to help with obtaining housing, then we may not be able to change our decision. 

If your homelessness has not been relieved after 56 days

We will decide on your homelessness application. If the likely decision is that you are not owed a duty to secure accommodation for you, we will write to you to explain the reasons why and allow you time to supply any additional information prior to the final decision being issued. 

You have a right of review for any decision that is issued to you. Please refer to our separate page ‘A guide to homelessness reviews’.

Applicants owed a main housing duty will generally only be given one suitable offer of accommodation in either social or private accommodation.

Applicants wishing to refuse an offer of accommodation have the right to request a review. It is strongly recommended to accept the property offered and then use your right to request a review of the suitability of the offer once you have moved in. This could prevent you from becoming roofless.