Homelessness takes many different forms and can be a really worrying time for those involved. At Malvern Hills District Council, we consider homelessness a priority and will support you if this is happening to you.
The following pages will explain the help we can provide and what options may be open to you.
If you want to speak to us about your housing situation, please contact us.
If you need to contact us out of hours in an emergency, you can contact us using our Out of office contact details.
The Housing Options Team will provide a free and accessible Housing Advice Service for anyone who is worried about becoming homeless or is homeless already. There are also national organisations such as Shelter and NHAS (National Housing Advice Service) who can provide generic advice on homelessness.
Duty to refer
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 sets out that specified public bodies must refer people to the Local Authority who they believe to be homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days. These organisations include:
- Prisons (public and contracted out)
- Youth offender institutions and youth offending teams
- Secure training centres (public and contracted out) and colleges
- Probation services (community rehabilitation companies and national probation service)
- Jobcentre plus
- Accident and emergency services provided in a hospital
- Urgent treatment centres, and hospitals in their capacity of providing in-patient treatment
- Social service authorities.
The Ministry of Defence is also subject to the duty to refer in relation to members of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the regular army and the Royal Air Force.
At Malvern Hills District Council, we use ALERT which is a tool for specified public bodies and wider partner agencies to make referrals or notify us about people they believe to be homeless.
Agencies can make their referral in five easy steps:
1.Sign up to ALERT
2.Enter details of the agency
3.Provide details of the household being referred
4.Complete a consent to share declaration
Once submitted, the referring agency will receive confirmation that the referral has been sent, along with a unique referral code. Where appropriate a copy of the referral can also be sent to the person threatened with homelessness or already homeless for their reference. Once a referral has been made, a user account for the referee is automatically created. This makes it simple and easier to make future referrals and enables the user to track their referral online and receive update notifications. This service is completely free of charge.
We invite specified public bodies and wider partner agencies to make referrals to the Local Authority as soon as possible. Malvern Hills District Council prioritises early intervention and prevention and will look to support customers to remain in existing accommodation or source alternative accommodation options.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence 24 hour helpline on 0808 2000 247. You can receive free and confidential advice from the helpline or read the NHAS (National Homelessness Advice Service) factsheets. If your personal safety is threatened, you should call the police on 999.
Severe Weather Emergency Protocol
Emergency night shelters are provided in South Worcestershire when the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol is activated.
In Worcester, the night shelter will be provided at
The Salvation Army,
16 Queen Street,
Referrals to the emergency night shelters can be made by the housing team.
Homeless Reduction Act 2017
Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy
Read the pdf Worcestershire Strategic Direction for Tackling Homelessness (12.79 MB) 2019-2022 document.
Homeless Prevention Plan
As part of the Homelessness Partnerships, in Malvern meetings are held with organisations who help people who are at risk of or are homeless.
Organisations involved include:
- Citizens Advice
- Adult Social Care
- Probation and CRC
- Children's First (Worcestershire)
- Caring Hands in the Vale
- West Mercia Police
- Platform Housing Group
- Rooftop Housing Group
- St Pauls Hostel
- St Richards Hospice
- Public Health
- Maggs Day Centre
- MOATS support
- Basement Project
- Job Centre
As part of the work this group has completed, a Homeless Prevention Plan has been developed to try and help homeless people in our area.
We will work together as a team to complete the actions within this plan, to help stop people becoming homeless in the future.
Download our pdf Homeless Prevention Plan (6.08 MB) booklet to find out how we will change our services in order to prevent people from losing their homes.