Most people will someday move out of their family home. Some people don't have a choice how or when this happens. However, if you are able to plan your move things will be much easier. If you are not getting on at home or thinking about getting your own place, start by thinking about the costs and responsibilities of independent living early on if you can.
If things are getting difficult at home, get information and support as early as possible.
City of York Council's Housing Options Team can offer advice and information about your housing options, homelessness and homeless prevention. They will look at your circumstances and discuss the options available to you. They may mediate with friends and family on your behalf to prevent you becoming homeless, whilst other options are explored. They will not force you to return to somewhere if they consider it unsafe.
If you are homeless you may be referred to a hostel or supported accommodation. This might not be straightaway; they will look at other options with you such as Nightstop or an emergency hostel bed until then. They may have a duty to put you in emergency temporary accommodation instead whilst they make further investigations about your situation, or while you are waiting for another option.
If you are still in education, training or out of work you will need to find out about any benefits you may be entitled to as soon as possible. If you are making a new claim, it may take a while before you get any money.
If you want to let someone know you are safe, contact Missing People, who can pass on a message for you without saying where you are.
There are different options depending on your circumstances and what you are ready to do.
If you have had to leave home and you are not ready to live independently straightaway, supported housing schemes are an option. You'll have a worker who will look at your support needs with you. How quickly you move on will depend partly on how well you are managing; for example your practical skills, if you pay rent or rent contribution on time, your behaviour etc. There is usually a waiting list for supported accommodation.
City of York Council and most local Housing Associations and neighbouring District Councils are all part of North Yorkshire Home Choice partnership. Please note Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust is separate from North Yorkshire Home Choice, so it is worth applying to them separately. They share an application form and housing policy which covers most of North Yorkshire, including York. To apply you will need a local connection to the partnership area.
When you apply your housing situation and personal circumstances will be verified and will be used to decide which priority band you are in for housing - emergency, gold, silver or bronze (lowest priority).
If you have any housing debt to a council or Housing Association, this can affect your application, as can your income level and past behaviour.
You must tell Housing Registrations if your circumstances have changed as it can affect your application; especially if you change address. You should also tell them th e following:
Find more information about applying for a council property on the City of York Council website.
For information about renting and your rights the Government have provided a renting guide booklet.. Landlords must now give a copy of this booklet to new tenants.
Accomodation in York is in high demand and as a result it can be expensive. Lodging with someone (where you live with your landlord or hare living space with them) can be more friendly, though as a lodger you have fewer rights than as a tenant.
You will usually have to pay rent in advance and a bond/deposit (money that you get back at the end of the tenancy if nothing is damaged or missing). The landlord must pay this into a 'Tenancy Deposit Scheme' although this doesn't apply to resident landlords. if you cannot afford what they ask, try negotiating with what money you have. It's probably better to do this face to face so they can meet you rather than on the phone.
City of York Council's Housing Options team have a Bond Guarantee Scheme. They can help people on low income to get private rented accommodation by guaranteeing the bond/deposit to the landlord (this is not paid cash, but is a written guarantee promising to pay if needed. They can also pay rent in advance to secure the tenancy. You will need to get housing advice first and give proof of your income etc.
If you rent from a elf contained flat or house or room in a shared house (not as a lodger) you should be given an 'Assured Short hold Tenancy' from your landlord. Even if you are not given anything in writing you still have legal rights as well as responsibilities.
Contact City of York Council's Housing Options Team if you are homeless or about to become homeless (or kicked out) and you, or someone who lives with you are:
Tell them about your circumstances such as medical or mental health problems, or if you are escaping violence or abuse. You should also tell them if you have spent time being 'looked after' but Social Services or have been in prison, on remand or in the armed forces, no matter for how long.
Contact the Youth Homeless Workers. They have a duty to look in to your situation and the Council may have to find you emergency accommodation while they do this. If you are 16 but still officially school age e.g. in Year 11 and before the end of June they will put you in touch with a social worker instead, as they will not be able to refer you to any of the supported accommodation options. Find more information about the Youth Homeless Workers.
The law says you can not live alone. You also cannot be referred to a hostel or supported accommodation and you cannot claim benefits or work full time.
Your main options are:
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