Bracknell Forest Council has a legal duty to help individuals and families who are homeless or are about to lose their home and meet the qualifying criteria. The council's Housing Options Service is responsible for assessing needs and determining whether or not individuals and families are entitled to help.
Who can get help
Our duties to homeless households are determined by the 1996 Housing Act. This law says that we must provide accommodation for you if you meet the following conditions:
- You are homeless - we can only help you if you have no home, are about to lose your home or your safety is at risk if you stay in your present home
- You are eligible - if you aren't a UK citizen or you have lived abroad you may not qualify for accommodation
- You are in priority need - we can only help you if:
- you are vulnerable because of your age, mental illness, disability or are fleeing domestic violence or
- you have dependent children in full time education or
- you are pregnant or
- you are homeless following an emergency such a fire or flood
- We will also assess if you have made yourself intentionally homeless - if you were evicted from your home because of a breach of tenancy (deliberately not paying the rent, causing a nuisance or damaging your property) or you left home voluntarily it is unlikely that we will be able to help you
- You have a good reason for being in Bracknell Forest - you must have a connection with Bracknell Forest or need to be in Bracknell Forest for special reasons
Because of the severe shortage of housing available to us, we are only able to help homeless households who meet these legal criteria. If we cannot provide accommodation we will offer you advice and assistance on your other housing options.
Rent deposit loan scheme
If you need help with meeting the cost of a deposit for a privately rented property, the council may be able to help you with a rent deposit loan. To be eligible for a deposit loan:
- You must be resident in the borough and able to provide proof of this
- You should be homeless or threatened with homelessness
- Priority will be given to households who have a priority need for housing under the homeless legislation.
Not everyone will qualify for help under this scheme. If you are eligible for help with a deposit loan, a loan equivalent to one month’s rent for a property of a size that you are eligible for under the local housing allowance rules will be available. In some circumstances, additional help with rent in advance may also be available. For more information about the rent deposit loan scheme please contact or visit us.
Mortgage rescue scheme
If you are unable to meet your mortgage repayments and/or are in arrears with your mortgage, you may be eligible for help via the government’s mortgage rescue scheme. This is a national scheme aimed at helping home owners facing severe financial difficulties to sell all or part of their property to a housing association and remain in their home as either a part owner of a tenant. Please contact us for more information.
We can offer additional help to vulnerable people who find themselves homeless or threatened with homelessness. The resettlement service is available to help single people who may have:
- Mental health problems
- Physical or learning difficulties
- Are leaving prison or remand
- Are recovering from drug or alcohol problems
If you are a single person with a local connection to the Bracknell Forest area, the resettlement service may be able to offer you practical help with:
- Applying to the BFC My Choice housing register
- Contacting local landlords and letting agents
- Finding accommodation
- Helping with housing and other benefits
- Help with applying for crisis loans
- Exploring options for financial assistance such as trade charities
To find out if the resettlement service can help you, please contact us on 01344 352009, or see us at our drop-in service on Mondays 10am-12pm or Fridays 10am-12pm at Time Square.