Portsmouth City Council will provide advice and help to anyone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

We can’t provide a home for everyone who is homeless, but we will give you help to try to prevent you from becoming homeless. If that’s not possible, we will help you understand your options. It may be that we have a duty to find you a new home if you become homeless.

If you think you might lose your home, it’s important that you get advice as soon as possible. For more information:

  • email housing.options@portsmouthcc.gov.uk (please include a daytime telephone number and any relevant information regarding your current circumstances for us to understand your situation)
  • phone 023 9283 4989
  • write to or visit us at Housing options on the first floor of Portsmouth City Council Civic Offices in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AX

Please follow the link if you require further advice on money, debt or benefits.

Rough sleeping

If you are over 18 and experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless, there is support and advice available from Homeless Day Services. This is part of the integrated recovery service in Portsmouth, and is run by the Society of St James (SSJ).

At the Homeless Day Services you can access:

  • Showers
  • Laundry facilities
  • A basic breakfast Monday - Friday 8.30am - 10.30am & Saturday/Sunday 9am - 11am
  • A programme of group activities like cooking and budgeting Monday - Friday 2pm - 4pm
  • Support with things like benefit claims, referrals into the Housing Panel if appropriate, and access to healthcare services and substance misuse recovery treatment

The Homeless Day Services are at 24 Kingston Road, PO1 5RZ and are open 7 days a week.

Opening hours:

Monday - Friday 8.30am - 1pm: Open Access

Monday - Friday 2pm-4pm: Appointments

Saturday and Sunday 9am - 12pm: Open Access

Contact the Homeless Day Services on: portsmouth.dayservices@ssj.org.uk / 023 9288 2689

If you are concerned about someone you think is sleeping rough, get in touch with StreetLink and provide some details so that local agencies can try to connect the person sleeping rough with the available help.

How we can help rehouse you

You may be entitled to council housing or council sheltered housing if you have lost your home due to an emergency such as a serious fire, flood or other disaster, or are:

  • living with one or more dependent children (a dependent child is normally under 16 years old or under 19 if in full-time education)
  • an expectant parent, or someone living with you is pregnant
  • sixteen or seventeen years old
  • eighteen to twenty years old and a former ‘relevant child’ under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000
  • vulnerable for special reasons
  • elderly or in poor health, in danger of a violent attack, or vulnerable as a result of being in custody or having served in the Armed Forces.

These are our priority groups. If you're homeless, in one of the priority groups and have a local connection to Portsmouth, we're obliged to find you somewhere for you to live. A local connection means you have:

  • lived in the area for the past six months out of twelve months, or three years out of five years
  • a permanent job in the city
  • close family that has lived permanently in the council area for more than five years.

If you apply to us as homeless and have no local connection with Portsmouth but a strong connection with another district, we may refer you back to that other area for advice or assistance.

If you're homeless, or likely to be homeless, but are not in one of the priority groups above, you will not be offered housing. Instead, we'll give you advice and assistance to help you find somewhere else to rent or buy, or to help you stay with relatives and friends.

Dealing with your housing application 

When we have looked into your application, we'll write to tell you our decision. If we do offer you housing, we'll also tell you whether it is bed and breakfast or other accommodation.

Although we try to make sure all our decisions are fair and reasonable, if you feel the decision made in your case was wrong, you can ask for a review. You may make a formal appeal, in writing, to the homelessness and housing advice manager at the address above. We will review your case and write to let you know whether the decision will be changed and any further action you can take.

Intentional and unintentional homelessness

If you claim to be homeless, we have to ask about your application and the reasons you became homeless. We may contact your previous landlord, employers, social workers, solicitors or other people who may be able to give us information about your homelessness.

If you've become homeless through deliberate action or inaction, you may be regarded as intentionally homeless. We are not obliged to find housing for anyone who is intentionally homeless, even those in priority categories.  However, we may find some accommodation for you for a temporary period - the maximum is usually 28 days.

You will not be regarded as intentionally homeless if you have done your best to keep your existing home, or you have lost your home through no fault of your own.

Please seek legal advice before giving up your home - speak to a solicitor or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, or ask at the Advice Portsmouth drop in centre.

Homeless referrals from public authorities

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 introduced a duty on public authorities to refer service users who may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to housing authorities. Portsmouth City Council is part of the Hampshire Homelessness Referral protocol. If you are a public body wishing to make a referral, you can email this referral form to dutytorefer@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or dutytorefer@secure.portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Important information 

Under the Housing Act 1996 (Section 214), we must inform all applicants that it's a criminal offence to make incorrect, misleading or inaccurate statements, or not to notify us of any relevant change of circumstances. Any offer of accommodation that's obtained by false or reckless statements, or by withholding information, will be cancelled and any tenancy or licence granted will be terminated. You may be prosecuted in court and liable on conviction to a substantial fine.

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