Housing Advice for Prison Leavers

The information below contains details on support that is available to you, and ideas for finding somewhere to live if you have been, or are being released from prison (or youth detention accommodation). We understand that a record of offending can make it harder for you to secure accommodation if you need it, and so you may need extra help. 

Threatened with homelessness

You will be considered to be threatened with homelessness if you have no accommodation that you have a right to return to (or cannot safely return to) on your release, if your release will occur within 56 days. This means you can approach any local authority in England and make a homeless application. The council will assess your needs and draw up a Personal Housing Plan, to help you resolve your housing problem, perhaps using some of the options described below. In addition to this the Prison Service are under a duty to refer your case to the local authority prior to your release with your permission.

If you are homeless now

If the Council cannot prevent you becoming homeless, and you have nowhere to go now, a Housing Options Officer will decide if you have what is referred to as a ‘priority need’. Some people will automatically have a priority need including:

  • 16/17 year olds (unless owed a duty by Social Care)
  • Care leavers under the age of 21
  • Pregnant or with the care of a child

If you don’t fall into a priority need group then the Housing Options Officer will carry out an assessment to decide if it considers you to be more vulnerable than the average person who is homeless and the likelihood of harm to you. One factor the council will consider is whether or not you are vulnerable as a result of the time you spent in prison so it is very important that you provide your Housing Options Officer with any information you wish for them to consider.

If there is a reason to believe you may be in priority need, you will be provided with temporary accommodation while the situation is investigated further.

If we cannot establish a local connection with Erewash Borough Council, you may be referred to another local authority with which you do have a local connection. There are no prisons in Erewash, but if you are detained within a local authority area, this will not give you a local connection to that area and so you may be referred back to the area you lived in before you where sent to prison.

If the Council accepts a duty to relieve your homelessness, we will work through your Personal Housing Plan with you, and decide what housing is suitable. It is important to know that there is not a duty at this point to provide you with permanent accommodation. The duty on the Council is to assist you in your efforts to find somewhere to live. The duty to assist you lasts for up to 56 days and can be ended sooner if you refuse an offer of accommodation which the Council decides is suitable. If you are made an offer of accommodation please think carefully before refusing this as this may discharge the authorities duty to you.

Housing Options which may be explored with you include:

Protocol agreed with Community Rehabilitation Companies 

Erewash Borough Council is one of a number of local authorities that have agreed a protocol for prison release with resettlement teams based at HMP Nottingham, HMP Ranby, HMP Leicester and HMP Foston Hall. Before your release you will be allocated a Resettlement Case Worker who has a duty to refer to the Council if you will be homeless on your release, so that the Council can work with you to try and prevent you becoming homeless.