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Housing Advice and Homelessness

Housing Advice and Homelessness

Finding a New Home

Braintree District Council no longer owns housing stock. All social rented accommodation in the District is owned and managed by Housing Associations, who advertise available properties through the Gateway to Homechoice scheme

The number of people registered for social housing greatly exceeds the supply so it may take a considerable number of years to be housed - and many households may never receive an offer of social housing. Therefore, if you need to find accommodation, the Housing Options Team will be happy to give you advice and assistance but it is important that you keep an open mind about the type of accommodation you are willing to live in and where this is located!

Contact the Housing Options Team using our online form

Housing Enquiry / Referral Form

Groups with particular needs

If you're 55 or over

If you are aged 55 or over, you may wish to consider registering on Gateway to Homechoice and expressing an interest in sheltered accommodation, the wait for this type of property can be considerably shorter than for general needs accommodation.

Greenfield Community Housing is the main provider of sheltered accommodation in the District.

Gypsies & Travellers

Essex County Council manages 12 local authority sites for Gypsies and Travellers in the county. Please contact Essex County Council Gypsy and Traveller Services. Advice can also be found on the Shelter website

Find out how we respond to an Unauthorised Traveller Encampment.

People experiencing Domestic Abuse

 If you’re experiencing domestic abuse and need information, please visit our domestic advice pages.

Former or Serving Members of the Regular Armed Forces

Some former or serving members of the armed forces or reserved forces personnel or their bereaved spouse or partner may be given additional preference on the Housing Register, by being prioritised within their band, when they apply for eligible properties. Advice can also be found on the Shelter website. If you are considering purchasing your own home help, is available through the Forces Help to Buy scheme. 

Contact the Housing Options Team, if you've left or are about to leave the military, and have nowhere to live.

Care Leavers

If you are a care leaver, your Leaving and Aftercare Personal Advisor will have agreed a pathway plan with you when you left care, which confirms where you are going to live. The pathway plan should be reviewed regularly and your Personal Advisor should stay in contact with you and provide ongoing support and help until you turn 21, or until your 25th birthday if you are still studying full time. Advice can also be found on the Shelter website.

If you become homeless, the Housing Options team will work with you and your Personal Advisor to explore your options.

Prison Leavers

If you're homeless now or due to leave prison in the next 8 weeks and don't have anywhere to stay on release, you can find advice on the Shelter website or contact the housing options team. Braintree District Council is a signatory to the ‘Essex Prisoner Housing Protocol’, together with other  Essex Local Housing Authorities, Essex CRC, National Probation Service, NACRO, Essex County Council and Chelmsford Prison.  The aim of the protocol is to identify any risk of homelessness prior to release from prison and for agencies to work together to reduce the chances of offenders leaving prison without having somewhere suitable to stay.

Leaving Hospital

Sometimes you know in advance that you will be going into hospital, and sometimes you go there as an emergency. If you're going to hospital, Living Well Essex can provide advice. If you are at risk of being homeless on (or soon after) leaving hospital, the hospital has a duty to refer you to a local authority for advice and assistance.

The Housing Options team can advise you on making longer term plans for changes to adapt your home to make it suitable for your needs, please see our grants webpage for more information. Alternatively, if a move to more suitable accommodation is deemed necessary, contact the Housing Options Team.

Supported Accommodation

Braintree District has a number of supported housing schemes, which provide accommodation for up to two years, with a support package for single people who need help developing their independent living skills (e.g. budgeting, cooking, managing a tenancy). Most of the accommodation is provided in shared accommodation.

Single People

If you’re 16 or 17 and homeless, we will work with Essex County Council Health and Social Care and make a joint assessment to determine if you should be referred to supported accommodation.

Single people (aged 18 to 35) with low-level support needs can be referred to supported accommodation via the Joint Referral Panel which meets every four weeks. To make an application please contact the Housing Options team.

Single people 18 and over with light-touch support needs can be assessed for accommodation in a house in multiple occupations (HMO) via a referral from the Housing Options team.

Mental Health

Adults with Mental Health Support Needs, who require specialist mental health supported accommodation can be referred to the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust scrutiny panel by their care co-ordinator. Mid or East Essex Mental Health Joint Referral Panel which meets monthly. There are supported housing schemes in the Braintree District for people who require ‘intensive enablement’ (usually following discharge from hospital) and ‘support to independence’ for those needing some support to prepare them for living independently. Please contact your Mental Health Support Worker to discuss a referral.

Adults with Learning Disabilities

Adults with Learning Disabilities who wish to be considered for specialist supported accommodation for people with learning disabilities need to contact their Social Worker or Essex County Council Adult Social Care.