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A Housing Guide for Young People in Colchester. Help and advice for the under 25 s

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A Housing Guide for Young People in Colchester Help and advice for the under 25 s Colchester Borough Council A Housing Guide for Young People in Colchester If you re facing homelessness
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A Housing Guide for Young People in Colchester Help and advice for the under 25 s Colchester Borough Council A Housing Guide for Young People in Colchester If you re facing homelessness If you don t have anywhere to stay, or you re having problems at home, you can approach any of the agencies listed at the end of this leaflet. It s important to know what your options are and what to expect in terms of local support and how to access it. If you re at risk at home If you re experiencing violence or any kind of abuse, tell someone and get help. The worst thing you can do is keep it to yourself. There is help locally and numbers are listed on this leaflet but you should call the police on 999 if your safety is threatened. If you feel you are in an abusive relationship you can contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on If you want someone to talk to for emotional support you can call the Samaritans on IF YOU ARE UNDER 16 and feeling unsafe where you live or are having to leave home Essex Social Care (Social Services) runs a 24-hour protection line for children and young adults on or you can for help. They ll help you sort out what to do. IF YOU ARE AGED 16 OR 17 and having to leave home Colchester Borough Council has a team of Housing Options Advisers who will listen to you and explain what can be done. They will arrange to see you as soon as possible. A Social Worker will also be present because until you re 18 you are still legally a child. Everything possible will be done to help prevent you being made homeless. If you ve been asked to leave home, the adviser can help you return if it s safe to do so. If you re being evicted from a tenancy they can negotiate with the landlord to help you stay. Essex Social Care has a team of Homeless Youth Specialists who can provide advice and support to help you keep a roof over your head. Help and advice for the under 25 s IF YOU ARE AGED and homeless There are various agencies which can help. As well as Colchester Borough Council you can contact the Youth Enquiry Service (YES). It s a charity that helps support young people up to the age of 25. YES has two caseworkers, Sarah and Claire, who can help you through the process of finding somewhere to live. They can also help you work through your problems to make it possible to stay where you are if it s safe and suitable. The Youth Enquiry Service also offers support for young parents under 21 and other help like debt, money and benefits advice. Getting your own accommodation isn t easy or cheap and improving your relationship with your parents/guardians is often a better solution. If you decide you have to leave, take a bit of time to move out in a planned way with the necessary support. This can come from family and friends or through any of the agencies listed on this leaflet. Private renting This is when you find a place to live by looking through Letting Agents, local papers and online. You will usually sign up for a six month contract. You will be legally responsible for paying the rent on time each month and keeping the property in good condition. There will be up-front costs like a deposit, and one or two months rent in advance. Some agencies will also charge you an administration fee. A room in a shared house is usually an affordable answer. You might be able to move in with friends and share the bills or you can look for a house share. The Youth Enquiry Service can help you with your search. They will also be able to tell you if you are entitled to any financial assistance with some of the expenses. Bills, budgeting and benefits When you have your own accommodation you re responsible for the rent, as well as council tax, gas, electricity, water, TV licence, food and toiletries etc. These things must take priority over other expenses like going out, phone credit, internet access, clothes, cigarettes or running a car or motorbike. You may be entitled to help with some costs whether you re working or not. To get a benefit check and help with claiming, contact the Youth Enquiry Service. A Housing Guide for Young People in Colchester Housing benefit is paid by local councils to help people on low incomes or benefits pay their rent. It only helps with the cost of rent and not other household bills such as electricity, water etc. It often isn t enough to meet the cost of all the rent. If you re working, the amount of housing benefit you can get varies according to what you earn as your income rises, your entitlement goes down. With income above a certain level, you won t get housing benefit at all and will have to pay all the rent yourself. If you claim housing benefit the maximum you can get will only be enough to rent a single room in a shared house. You can find out more at or by calling the Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support team on Support It s easy to become overwhelmed with things like budgeting, paying bills and debt. But it s essential you don t ignore problems as rent arrears can lead to eviction and homelessness. Always get advice and support as soon as you start to struggle. As well as some of the agencies listed on this leaflet you could contact National Debtline on or debt charity Step Change on Supported housing This is accommodation with people on hand to help you manage on a day to day basis. You can learn the skills you need to live on your own, such as managing your money, paying bills, how tenancies work and help with finding a job or further education. If you re 16 or 17 you should approach the Council about this kind of accommodation. If you re over 18 you can talk to the Youth Enquiry Service. There is a limited supply of this type of housing for young people in Colchester and there is nearly always a waiting list. There is also a financial consideration as you will be responsible for rent and other expenses. Help and advice for the under 25 s In an emergency Colchester Borough Council can provide emergency accommodation in certain circumstances. In order for the council to have a legal duty to provide you with emergency accommodation, you must meet three points: You must be eligible for assistance (which is all about your rights to live in the UK and your entitlement to apply for social housing) The council must be satisfied you are homeless which may involve phone calls to parents/guardians You must be deemed to be in priority need for example care leavers, those with dependent children or young people aged If you meet all of the above you may be offered temporary emergency accommodation. This could be at a B&B and likely to be outside of Colchester. The council then has to make further enquiries to establish if they owe you a long term duty. You must have a connection with the area and you must not be intentionally homeless (having done something which made you homeless without good reason). It will be necessary to find out why you lost your accommodation and whether it was due to your own actions. Further Help and Advice APRIL CENTRE Provides housing, benefits and welfare advice to people aged 16 or over. Mon to Fri 9.30am-4pm 10 St Peters Court, St Peters Street, CO1 1WD Day centre offers cheap food and drink and a place of warmth and comfort, tv lounge, pool, table tennis, arts and craft and more. Mon & Thurs 1pm-6pm St Pauls Hall, Colne Bank Avenue, CO1 1UU. Tel COLCHESTER BOROUGH COUNCIL Customer Service Centre provides free expert housing advice about: homelessness, threat of eviction, rent or mortgage arrears, disrepair, overcrowding, if your home is unsuitable, being at risk at home and housing advice for 16/17 years olds. Mon-Fri 9am-5pm Colchester Library, Trinity Square, Colchester, Essex CO1 1JB Tel hour Helpline A Housing Guide for Young People in Colchester COLCHESTER CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU Provides free independent, confidential and impartial advice to help resolve legal, money and other problems. Mon-Fri pm 32 Crouch Street, Colchester, CO3 3HH Tel COLCHESTER EMERGENCY NIGHT SHELTER Overnight to a maximum of 28 days Open daily 7.15pm-9am Last admission 11pm. Sunday opening 12.30pm-9.30am Alexandra Road, CO3 3DF Please call in advance on COLCHESTER AND TENDRING WOMEN S REFUGE Crisis accommodation for women in abusive or violent relationships. Excellent facilities and support plus outreach service available in a place you feel is safe. In Colchester but address not public. Tel See (you can hide your visit ) CORAM CHILDREN S LEGAL CENTRE An independent national charity providing legal advice, information and representation for children and young people. Mon-Fri 9am 5pm Tel Child Law Advice Line (freephone, open 8am to 8pm) ESSEX FLOATING SUPPORT SERVICE One Support provides free help for people aged 16 and over e.g. managing your tenancy, understanding the benefit system, gaining life skills and accessing education and training. 7 St Peters Court, Colchester, CO1 1WD Tel or Text Help and advice for the under 25 s ESSEX SOCIAL CARE (Social Services) Help and advice, care, support and protection. Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 9am-12pm Children and Young People Tel Urgent and 24-hour protection line Tel OPEN ROAD Drug and alcohol support and advice. You can access Essex Young Peoples Drug & Alcohol Service (EYPDAS) for under 18 s at this centre. Mon-Fri 9.30am 5pm, Thu 9.30am-8pm 5a Queen Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 2PG Tel Centre Tel Helpline SHELTER specialist housing advice for anyone who is homeless, at risk of homelessness, or in need of housing advice. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm. Blackburn House, 32d Crouch Street, Colchester, CO3 3HH Tel SOLO HOUSING operates a lodgings scheme in Colchester for single people aged over 18. This is a non- emergency service. Referrals via Colchester Borough Council Customer Service Centre or contact Solo Housing Mon-Wed 9am-5.30pm Tel: YOUTH ENQUIRY SERVICE (YES) For young people aged Provides support with housing and homelessness, debts and benefits, counselling service, teenage pregnancy. Mon-Fri 9am-5pm 9 Trinity Street CO1 1JN
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