We offer support and help whether you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the future. We will give you advice based on your personal circumstances. 

There are a lot of ways to help you stay in your current home, so please contact us as soon as possible if you are concerned you are at risk of becoming homeless.

If staying in your current home is not an option, we can help you to find a different home. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can join the housing register to place bids on available social housing in Doncaster.

It is important you know, however, that due to the high demand for social housing and low numbers of available properties, you would be required to look to the private sector and to registered providers (housing associations) for suitable accommodation.

We also work with a range of supported housing providers to assist our customers in securing housing.

When is a person deemed homeless?

A person could be 'homeless' if they: 

  • have no home in the UK or elsewhere that they have a legal right to occupy 
  • have a moveable home such as a boat or caravan and there is nowhere it can be placed lawfully 
  • you are at risk from harm if you stay in your current home 

If you think you may be homeless or threatened with homelessness, the earlier you contact us, the quicker we will be able to advise you, and support you to remain in your home or move to another home. 

We will talk to you about your circumstances to help us to understand your current situation.   

If you require our assistance with housing, we will ask you to provide us with documentation to evidence your eligibility for recourse to public funds (such as proof of ID), and will require your cooperation in carrying out our initial investigations to ascertain your housing situation. 

The information we gather will enable us to complete a personalised housing plan with you and agree with you what you need to do and also what we need to do to support you.  You will need to let us know of any changes in your circumstances and updates to your personalised housing plan. 

If you are homeless or think that you are going to become homeless you should contact us as soon as you can: 

By Telephone: 01302 736000 Monday to Friday 08:30am - 4:30pm. 

By Email: housingoptionsteam@doncaster.gov.uk Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5pm. 

If you do not have access to a phone or email please visit us:  

In Person: One Stop Shop at The Civic Building in Doncaster, DN1 3BU during opening hours Monday - Friday between 8.30am - 3.30pm. 

Emergencies: If you are homeless outside of these hours contact 01302 737199 

Home Options and Homelessness Advice

Whether you are an owner, a tenant or a lodger 

Do not wait. Seek advice immediately if you think you may lose your home. 

The Home Options service for Doncaster offers housing advisory services to everyone with a housing related issue. 

One of our Home Options Officers can discuss your housing related issues and offer advice regarding: 
  

  • Housing advice and prevention 
      
  • Homelessness 
      
  • Mortgage or rent arrears 
      
  • Problems with Private Rented accommodation 
      
  • Illegal evictions and harassment 
      
  • Relationship breakdowns 
      
  • Family disputes 
      
  • Employment and training opportunities 
      
  • Referrals to supported housing providers 
      
  • Referrals to tenancy support 
      
  • Gypsies and Travelers’ Liaison Service 
      

We can try to prevent you from becoming homeless by giving you advice on your current accommodation and provide you with options that may mean you can stay in your own home. 

We won’t promise you a Council house, but will give you the appropriate advice which may help you to keep your home and prevent homelessness. 

Our Home Options Officers will explore realistic options that are available to you. This may include working with your existing landlord or mortgage provider, or looking at alternative private rented sector options. 

Still have questions? Find answers here.

The Homelessness Reduction Act

Since 3 April 2018 the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 has been in force. The act puts a legal duty on Local Authorities to offer more support and provide free advice to all residents within the local area in comparison to previous legislation.

These legal duties mean the council must: 

  • Provide advice and carry out prevention work, so that where possible, people can be supported to remain in their current home
  • Offer everyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness access to meaningful help, irrespective of their priority need status, as long as they are eligible for assistance and carry out prevention and relief work for anyone threatened with homelessness within 56 days


Personalised Housing Plans


The Homelessness Reduction Act requires the Housing Options Team to provide a Personalised Housing Plan.

This plan will be agreed with yourself throughout the assessment process and an agreed list of actions will be established which you and your officer will complete to prevent or relieve your homelessness.

A Housing Advice letter will be given to you which will outline our assessment of your household, your circumstances and any support needs that you may have.

There may be actions which you are required to undertake as part of this plan with which you do not agree. If this is the case, we will discuss these actions with you and confirm why we believe they are appropriate for you to carry out in order to address your housing circumstances. 


Helpful guidance explaining these changes can be found in Fact Sheets produced by the Government and in further detail in The Code of Guidance which provides a summary of the homelessness legislation and the duties, powers and obligations on housing authorities and others towards people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Duty to refer

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 significantly reformed England’s homelessness legislation by placing duties on local housing authorities to intervene at earlier stages to prevent homelessness in their areas, and to provide homelessness services to all those who are eligible.

Additionally, the Act introduced a duty on specified public authorities to refer service users who they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to local authority homelessness/housing options teams. 

This duty is effective from 1 October 2018 when the list of public authorities came into force. 

The Duty to Refer helps to ensure that services are working together effectively to prevent homelessness by ensuring that peoples’ housing needs are considered when they come into contact with public authorities.

It encourages local housing authorities and other public authorities to build strong partnerships which enable them to work together to intervene earlier to prevent homelessness through increasingly integrated services. 

Public bodies with a Duty to Refer 

The specified public authorities subject to the Duty to Refer are: 

  • Prisons;
  • Young offender institutions;
  • Secure training centres;
  • Secure colleges;
  • Youth offending teams;
  • Probation services (including community rehabilitation companies);
  • Jobcentre Plus;
  • Social service authorities;
  • Emergency departments;
  • Urgent treatment centres;
  • Hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care;
  • Secretary of State for defence in relation to members of the regular armed forces. 
Children leaving care

If you've been in the care of the local authority in Doncaster there are a range of services available to help you. This can include help to get accommodation and support. 

Vist Doncaster Childrens Trust 

If you're living in local authority care, or you were in the past, you may be entitled to additional priority to help you to move home. 

If you've been in care and are about to become homeless, or are homeless and you need more help you need to contact us as soon as possible. 

16-18 year olds  

If you're aged between 16 and 18 and you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, a joint assessment will be completed with our Home Options Team and Children’s Services.

This assessment will include discussing your circumstances and any support needs. This will help us to prevent you becoming homeless and assist you to return home where this is suitable. 

Armed Forces

If you are a current or a former member of the armed forces we can offer help and support to seek accommodation. 

Doncaster has signed up to the Armed Forces Community Covenant and we have made a commitment to supporting the armed forces in Doncaster.  The covenant encourages Councils to offer support to the local Armed Forces community and aims to make it easier for service personnel, families and veterans to access the help and support available.  

You can apply for Council Housing by registering to join the housing register here. You must provide proof of your service record. 

If you're homeless or threatened with homelessness, or are preparing for service discharge you may be given extra housing priority to assist in finding accommodation. 

You can also receive help and support from SSAFA. 

SSAFA provides lifelong support to men and women in the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the British Army and the Royal Air Force and their families. 

SSAFA also work with veterans of all ages to help them settle into life and work outside of the Forces. 

Visit SSAFA or call 0800 731 4880. 

In addition to SSAFA, the Veterans Gateway is a huge network of organisations supporting the Armed Forces community. 

Doncaster Council has signed the Armed Forces Convenant, proudly supporting those who have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces along with their families. 

The community pack contains a guide for veterans and includes dedicated local contacts specifically within Doncaster. 

Rough sleeping

Rough Sleepers and Beggars 

We can provide advice, help and support to anyone who is rough sleeping. 

If you're sleeping rough or know someone who is sleeping rough you can contact our Housing Options Team for help and assistance or use Streetlink 

Doncaster Homelessness Outreach Service is provided by Riverside to provide help for anyone sleeping rough. They work directly with people sleeping rough between 6am and 1pm and 6pm and 1am on the No Second Night Out project 

If you know or see someone who is street homeless contact Riverside and their rapid response team will assist you .They can be contacted on telephone number 01302 558014 or email nsno.doncaster@riverside.org.uk  

There is a daily drop in service at supported housing service, Wharf House. Wharf Road, Doncaster, DN1 2ST 

Anyone sleeping rough is offered overnight accommodation during severe weather. This is usually when the temperature falls to zero degrees or below. 

If you see someone who is sleeping rough who is in distress or unwell call 999. 

If you are homeless and sleeping rough or think that you are going to become homeless and will have to sleep rough you should contact us as soon as you can.

Leaving prison and detention centres

If you are in prison or a Youth Detention Centre and will have no home on release we can assess your needs and work with you, and any professionals helping you, to find a home. 

We can offer advice on a range of issues. 

It is important for you to get in touch as soon as possible to give time for an assessment so that all housing options can be explored and accommodation found.

Please have details of your Probation Officer to hand if one has been assigned to you.  

Domestic abuse

If you are experiencing or been affected by domestic abuse you can access the following services. 

Doncaster Domestic Abuse Service can offer support whether you are experiencing domestic abuse yourself, concerned about someone, or want to change your own behaviour, call Doncaster Domestic Abuse on 01302 737080 (all calls are confidential), or find details about all the services that can help you on this website

We have also signed up to Domestic Abuse Pledge.  

Women’s Aid 

Women’s Aid is a national charity who working towards ending domestic abuse against women and children.  They can offer help and support to people suffering domestic abuse. 

Visit Womens Aid or call their 24 hour helpline on 0808 2000 247

Riverside 

If you are experiencing domestic abuse or if you want help to change your abusive behaviour you can call the confidential domestic abuse helpline on 0800 4701 505 or email domesticabusehelpline@riverside.org.uk 

The helpline is open from 9am to 10.30pm Monday to Friday, and all calls will be answered by experienced advisers who understand your situation and who will be able to refer to the most appropriate service to get further help. 

You can also report domestic abuse by calling the Police on 101 – Remember - if you or someone you are concerned about are at immediate risk of harm, you should always call 999.

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness in connection with domestic abuse you should contact us as soon as you can

Hospital Discharge and Housing Adaptations  

If you're in hospital and you are unable to return home because of your ill health it may be possible for your home to be adapted to help you to stay there.  Housing adaptations can help you to stay mobile in and around your home. 

Housing Adaptations can range from small items, such as grab rails and lever taps, to major alterations. 

If you think that you could benefit from Housing Adaptations you will first have to be assessed and advised on how best to meet your needs in accordance with government guidelines. After this we will arrange for the work to be carried out. 

If you have no place to return to when you are discharged from hospital you can register to apply for rehousing at Doncaster HomeChoice. We will work together with the hospital to ensure that suitable accommodation is available for you. 

It is important to make contact as soon as possible to allow time for assessments to be completed and accommodation to be identified. Please contact Housing Options Team and liaise with your hospital Occupational Therapist. 

Mortgage repossession

Mortgage repossession can occur when you fail to pay for your house which you took out a mortgage for.  

Repossession by a landlord’s lender: 

The mortgage lender may have to accept you as their tenant if your landlord has either: 

  • a buy to let mortgage 
  • a mortgage taken out after your tenancy started 

You may receive open letters from the lender telling you about a court hearing and if applicable, eviction. You can ask the judge to delay the date for possession for up to 2 months.  

We can provide advice on what to do if you cannot afford your mortgage and have arrears, as well as discuss different options with you if you cannot afford your house.  

Do not sell your house or hand back the keys if you have nowhere else to live as you may be classed as intentionally homeless which can impact on what support options are available to you. Instead, contact us for advice on the contact details below at the earliest opportunity. 

 

Modern slavery and trafficking

If you are being forced to do things that are illegal, dangerous, and/or degrading, and you feel you need to escape from the situation, report this to the police and reach out to someone from a charitable or community organisation that you trust as soon as possible. 

If you are a victim of trafficking or modern slavery (you have been moved from one place to another by people who want to exploit you) or if you believe someone you know is, you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or the police on 101.

In an emergency always call 999.

You can also contact the Salvation Army's free 24-hour confidential helpline on 0800 808 3733 as well as reach out to other organisations such as Victim Support. 

If you are fleeing Modern Slavery or Trafficking and are at risk of homelessness or homeless as a result, we may be able to assist you with finding housing.  

We offer interpreter services via telephone as well as at the One Stop Shop at the Civic Building to ensure we can understand your circumstances and be clear about the support and advice we can offer.  

Eviction by family

If you are under the age of 18 and homeless or at risk of homelessness, we will work together with Doncaster’s Children’s Services Trust to see whether we can facilitate your safe return home, find you temporary and/or permanent alternative accommodation and/or signpost you to other relevant services and organisations. 

If you are 18 or over and find yourself homeless, contacting the council is necessary to make a homeless application. Depending on your individual circumstances you may not be granted emergency accommodation, but the council will provide you with a personal housing plan (PHP) to support you in finding suitable settled accommodation.

However, if you have left home when your parents say you can stay, we will encourage you to return home on the basis that you are not homeless. 

We can also discuss your housing options and refer you to support services and resources you while you remain in the family home, and help you arrange a planned move to a place of your own. 

If you must leave due to domestic abuse or fleeing violence, please see the domestic abuse tab.

Private rented accommodation

This is one of the biggest sources of accommodation for people accessing alternative housing in Doncaster. There are numerous ways to find private rented accommodation. 

  • Using a landlord and letting agent list and contacting them direct. 
  • Looking in local newspapers 
  • Local shops may display adverts 
  • Asking friends and family for details of their landlord or letting agent 

Be aware that some landlords ask for money up front before you are able to move into a property. 

Useful information on bonds and private renting can be found on the government website. 
 
Bonds 

We run both help-with-bond scheme and a rent-in-advance scheme, however acceptance onto these schemes is subject to criteria that would be assessed during a Home Options interview. 

Eviction by private landlord

Generally, landlords need to apply for an eviction order from court before they can ask bailiffs to evict you. Before they can do this, legally they need to serve you with an appropriate eviction notice. 

Your landlord may use two types of eviction – section 21 or section 8. 

Section 21 Notice on Form 6A 

Section 21 is a ‘non-fault’ notice, where your landlord does not need a reason to evict you. This may be due to them wanting to sell their property or move in themselves, for example. 

If you have been handed a section 21 notice: 

  • Your landlord should give you 2 months’ notice before eviction. 
  • Try to get in touch with your landlord to persuade them to allow you to stay longer 

If you are facing homelessness as a result of a section 21 notice, we will need documents listed below to check that the notice is valid and legally binding: 

Eviction notice on Form 6A 

  • Copy of the tenancy agreement 
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) dated within 5 years of the notice 
  • Gas Safety Certificate dated within a year of the notice  
  • Copy of the deposit certificate if the deposit/bond was paid 
  • Copy of the How to Rent Booklet provided with your tenancy or a confirmation that you have received this as part of your tenancy agreement 
  • Electrical Safety Certificate if available 

If any of the above documents are missing, the notice may not be valid and therefore you will not have to leave your home.

It is therefore crucial that you contact us as soon as you receive the notice to ensure there is time to carry out additional investigations.

This is important because in the event you leave your home in the absence of a valid notice and without an alternative settled, long-term home to move to, you could be making yourself intentionally homeless which could impact on what support options are available to you in the future.  

 

Section 8 Notice on Form 3 

Section 8 is a notice where your landlord gives a legal reason to end your tenancy, for example rent arrears (debt) or damage to property. 

If you have been handed a Section 8: 

  • Your landlord must give you a reasonable amount of time to evict; it can vary from 2 weeks to 2 months, depending on the legal reasons (grounds) for eviction.  

If your landlord starts a court action, you must keep all the letters and documents sent by the court. You will be required to fill out a defence form against your landlord’s possession order.

This will allow to court to assess whether you should be evicted or not. To seek legal help, you could contact a local legal adviser if needed. This is a free service. You should attend all court hearings unless you have a good reason, e.g., attended hospital.  

Your landlord could use a mandatory ground if you owe at least 2 months' rent both when you get the notice and at the hearing. Try and reduce or pay off any arrears by the time of the hearing.  

If you face homelessness from being handed a section 8 notice, we may need documents listed below to ensure the notice is valid: 

  • Eviction Notice on Form 3 

We may also ask for documents such as: 

  • Bank statements and proof of income 
  • Rent account statements 
  • Income and expenditure forms to assess affordability 

In any case, please seek help from our Home Options team as soon as you get handed your eviction notice or are concerned about falling into rent arrears. If you find yourself homeless, get in touch with our team as soon as possible. 

Notice of eviction from Home Office accommodation 

If your asylum claim was successful, you will likely have recourse to public funds and homelessness services.  

After the Home Office grants your refugee status, it is likely they will issue you with a notice to quit the asylum accommodation you would have been staying in up to this point so it important that you find somewhere else to live.

Depending on what status you have been granted, your local council can help you to make a homeless application, search for private rented accommodation and/or apply for social housing. It is important you seek help from the council where your status was granted. 

To speed up your application, we ask you provide: 

  • Your eviction notice 
  • ID (Visa, BRPs etc) 
  • Home Office correspondence relating to your status as a refugee 

You must apply for National Insurance number before you can apply for Universal Credit and/or housing benefit if you are struggling for a source of income.  

We offer interpreter services via telephone as well as at the One Stop Shop at the Civic Building to ensure we can understand each other and your circumstances. 

If your asylum application was rejected, your local council may not be able to help you if you do not have the recourse to public funds. In such case, you should seek specialist advice for places such as the Housing Rights website.  

Eviction from supported housing

Supported housing is a type of accommodation provided alongside support, supervision, or care to help people live independently in the community.

It can include hostels, refuges, sheltered housing and self-contained properties. We work with Supported Housing providers to help match suitable applicants with suitable accommodation options. 

The eviction process depends on the type of accommodation you are in and the type of agreement you have with the supported accommodation provider.  

If you find yourself evicted from supported housing, your provider must follow the correct procedure depending on the type of contract you have with the provider. This may include: 

  • Giving you a notice (including the date you should leave the property) 
  • Court hearing (after your notice runs out if you reside in a self-contained property) 
  • Bailiffs (if you have not yet left the property after court granted possession back to the provider) 

Although, depending on the type of accommodation and agreement you have you may not have to leave after the notice expires, you may put yourself at risk of incurring court costs if the provider has to instigate court proceedings to evict you and regain possession of the property.  

To help us give you advice as to your housing circumstances and options we may ask you:  

  • To tell us about the supported property you occupy  
  • To provide a copy of your agreement with the supported accommodation provider 
  • To provide details or evidence of any arrears or issues at the property  

We will work with you and your housing provider to try and help you stay in your accommodation if possible, or we will help you secure alternative accommodation. 

Lodging and live-in landlord asks you to leave

You are a lodger if your landlord lives in the property with you and you share access to communal areas such as the kitchen or the bathroom. 

Although this often arises as a result of a more relaxed living arrangement, it is good practice to formalise the agreement through putting it in writing, for example as a contract signed by both you and your landlord. The contract can be fixed term, e.g. 6 or 12 months, or rolling, e.g. month to month and should include information relating to your rent payments, any deposit if required, your obligations as landlord and lodger and information relating to giving notice to leave. However, legally, a written agreement is not required.  

Notice to leave

Unlike with assured shorthold tenants, in the event a landlord wishes for the lodger to leave, they only need to give reasonable notice and it does not have to be in writing, although again, it is best practice to put it in writing or follow up on a conversation when notice was given in writing to ensure the situation is transparent.

If you have a fixed term lodger agreement, the landlord should not ask you to leave before the end of your term unless it says otherwise in the contract. 

To evict you, the landlord does not need to go to court. It is enough that they give you notice and the notice period passes. Once the notice period has passed, you no longer have rights to the property and need to leave, however the landlord can only use peaceful means to evict you.

Struggling to afford to stay in your home

If you are struggling to afford your rent, do not wait until arrears accrue. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your housing options.  

Due to high demand and low availability of social housing in the area, we encourage individuals to look for private rented accommodation when facing homelessness. 

If you are at risk of homelessness due to your current property being unaffordable we may liaise with your landlord to try to prevent you from becoming homeless or support you with the upfront costs to secure an alternative home, if we believe the property is suitable and affordable for you.  

Assessing affordability

When you approach our service for advice or assistance as a result of struggling to pay rent, we will seek to carry out an assessment of affordability of your current property.  

In order to allow us to this will ask you to provide us with information relating to the property, your income, and expenditure. To help make this process easier for you, we listed some of the documents we would ask you to provide to us. 

We may ask you for: 

  • A copy of any correspondence from your landlord relating to planned rent increases, 
  • A copy of your tenancy agreement, 
  • Your rent account statement or proof of rent payments, 
  • A statement of arrears, 
  • Proof of your income such as wage slips, tax returns, benefit statements or a statement from your accountant if you are self-employed, 
  • Bank statements for the relevant time period, 
  • A completed Income and Expenditure Form

We will seek to book in a time with you to discuss the outcome of our assessment and will be able to advise you whether a property is going to be affordable and whether you should be able to sustain it based on the information you provide to us. Affordability varies from person to person which is why we assess each case on its own merit. 

Regardless of the outcome of your affordability assessment, we can provide you with a list of local landlords and letting agencies to assist you with your search for accommodation and provide other relevant advice in relation to your housing circumstances. We can also signpost you to relevant services and organisations to assist you with housing costs. 

Suitability of accommodation

Suitable accommodation does not mean that it must meet all your wishes. It means that the council must comply with minimum legal requirements regarding the condition of the property and must consider your and your family’s circumstances, both when it makes the offer and afterwards if your circumstances change 

When assessing whether the accommodation is suitable for you, we will look at: 

Location

If you have a connection to the area, we will look to place you in Doncaster unless impossible at the time. If you are at risk in a particular area, we will try to place you outside of it for your safety.  

Affordability

We will work with you to see if the property is affordable for you in the long term. Our officers from the Private Rent Team will help you fill out an income/expenditure form and help you stay informed if they think a property is unaffordable on your income.  

Housing conditions

All accommodation offered should be in reasonable condition. If it’s a long-term accommodation, we will check if the property meets specific additional standards, such as: 

  • Any electrical equipment must be safe 
  • Reasonable precautions to ensure fire safety and carbon monoxide poisoning must have been taken 
  • Gas safety record 
  • Valid energy performance certificate  
  • We will also ensure you, and your family, do not face overcrowding.  

Your needs

We will take your needs into consideration and depending on their nature we may or may not be able to accommodate them. For example, if you are a wheelchair user, we will not place you in an inaccessible property.

If you have pets, we will try to accommodate them with you, but we might be unable to do so due to most temporary accommodation not allowing them.

We will still owe you an accommodation duty even if we can’t accommodate your pets and we can provide you with advice on short-term/long-term rehoming options for them.  

If you feel we have offered you unsuitable accommodation, you have the right to request a review within 21 days of the offer.  

Contact us

If you are homeless or think that you are going to become homeless you should contact us as soon as you can: 

By Telephone: 01302 736000 Monday to Friday 08:30am - 4:30pm. 

By Email: housingoptionsteam@doncaster.gov.uk Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5pm. 

If you do not have access to a phone or email, please visit us:  

In Person: One Stop Shop at The Civic Building in Doncaster, DN1 3BU during opening hours Monday - Friday between 8.30am - 3.30pm. 

Emergencies: If you are homeless outside of these hours contact 01302 737199

St Leger Lettings

We also offer a Private Landlord Service – St Leger Lettings.

If you are looking to rent with confidence and at affordable prices, contact St Leger Lettings for a consultation or click here visit their page.

St Leger Lettings