Ryedale District Council

Ryedale District Council - homelessness

  • Affordable housing

    Information on the Council's aim to provide affordable housing and how you may be able to access affordable housing in the district.

    Ryedale District Council has identified 5 main aims; the primary aim is:-

    To meet housing need in the Ryedale District Council area.

    House prices in Ryedale are very high when considered relative to local average wages; this makes it extremely difficult for local people who have a low income to afford to buy their own home. The council works in partnership with local housing associations to tackle this.

    Hawthorn close V2

     

    In 2015/16, the Council completed 30 new affordable homes. Out of these 30 homes, 16 were affordable rent, 10 were social rent and 4 were shared ownership. This compares to 67 units delivered in 2014/15 and 40 in 2013/14.

    The Council has an annual target of 79 affordable homes.

     

    Westfield MewsNew developments on site in 2016/17 are expected to deliver around 45 additional affordable units.

     

     

    The Council is part of the North Yorkshire Strategic Housing Partnership which aims to provide a co-ordinated approach to tackling housing need across the County. Partners have agreed a common North Yorkshire Housing Strategy. Ryedale's Strategic Housing Market Assessment is available on the Ryedale Plan website.

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    Which Housing Associations are developing affordable houses in Ryedale?

    The Housing Services Manager and Rural Housing Enabler at Ryedale District Council work in partnership with the following Housing Associations to provide more affordable homes in the district:-

    What is affordable housing?

    The definition of affordable housing is taken from the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) March 2012.

    Affordable housing: Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.

    Social rented housing is owned by local authorities and private registered providers (as defined in Section 80 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008), for which guideline target rents are determined through the national rent regime. It may also be owned by other persons and provided under equivalent rent arrangements to the above, as agreed with the local authority or with the Homes and Communities Agency.

    Affordable rented housing is let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable Rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of not more than 80% of the local market rent (including service charges, where applicable).

    Intermediate housing is homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above social rent but below market levels, subject to the criteria in the Affordable Housing definition above. These can include shared equity (shared ownership and equity loans), other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent, but not affordable rented housing.

    Homes that do not meet the above definition of affordable housing, such as "low cost market" housing may not be considered as affordable housing for planning purposes.

    High house prices and high private rents have meant that there is a huge demand for affordable housing. Ryedale District Council works with partner Housing Associations to run initiatives which provide low cost homes for rent and sale, to help people who are unable to afford to rent or buy a home on the open market.

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    Low cost home ownership

    The low cost home ownership schemes in the District are:

    Discount for Sale

    Help to Buy Shared Ownership

    Help to Buy: Equity loan

    How to apply to buy an affordable home in Ryedale

    An application form can be downloaded below or requested by email. The team will keep your application on file and you will be contacted when any properties become available with more specific information.

    If you would prefer to have a paper application form sent out to you please telephone the Housing Options Team on 01653 600666 and request one.

    Discount for Sale Application Form can be found at the bottom of this page.

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    Discount for Sale

    If you can't afford to buy a home without help and you live or work in the immediate area and have an annual income of less than £40K or £60K for joint applicants.

    How does it work?

    Local Authorities give planning permission to private developers but set a restriction that some of the properties have to be sold at a discounted price. The private developer then sells the discounted properties direct to a buyer like you but you must meet local needs criteria.

    The discount can be any amount but is usually between 25% and 50% of the open market value.

    How do I qualify?

    The criteria is different for each scheme but first priority is normally given to those who live or work in the immediate area. If you are able to buy on the open market without help then you would not qualify. For example if your annual household income is more than £40,000 or £60K for joint applicants. If you have a deposit which is more than 15% of the value of the property we would need to know why you are applying for affordable housing.

    What happens when I want to sell the property?

    The original discount is passed on to the next person, so if you bought the property with a 25% discount you can only sell the property at 75% of the open market value.

    Do I have to pay rent?

    No, there is no rent to pay as you would own the property 100%. With discounted sale the property can only ever be sold at the set % of the open market value which means that the property will always be an affordable home.

    If you would like to apply to be considered for a Discount for Sale property please complete an application form and return it to Housing Services and your application will be kept on file. When suitable properties are nearing completion a member of the team will contact you to discuss your application.

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    Help to Buy - Shared Ownership

    If you would like to buy your own home but cannot afford it shared ownership may be an affordable option for you. The scheme enables local households to buy a share of a newly built home and pay rent on the remaining share.

    Find out more about how shared ownership works.

    What House? is an online property portal featuring hundreds of affordable homes and housing. This is a free search tool for people searching for affordable housing from housing associations and developers in the Ryedale District Council area.

    Help to buy - Equity Loan

    With a Help to Buy: Equity Loan the Government lends you up to 20% of the cost of your newly built home, so you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest.

    You won’t be charged loan fees on the 20% loan for the first five years of owning your home.

    Right to Acquire

    Who has the right to buy?

    The Right to Buy scheme enables council tenants who meet certain conditions to purchase their houses. There are no council houses in the Ryedale District Council area so this is not available for anyone living in Ryedale.

    Who has the right to acquire?

    The Right to Acquire scheme enables housing association tenants who meet certain conditions to purchase their houses. For further information about the scheme and to download an application form visit Gov.uk or contact your housing association direct.

    More information is available from;

    Email Housing Services to tell us what you think about our service.

     

  • Benefits advice and assessment

    The local authority benefit advisors offer benefit assessment and provide advice about entitlement to welfare benefits to individuals in receipt of benefit or claiming benefit.

    What can it be used for?
    Housing Benefit can help with rent payable to private landlords or housing associations.

    Who can receive it?
    Claimants who receive Income Support, Earnings Support Allowance, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance or the Guarantee Pension Credit are entitled to maximum Housing Benefit. Claimants with all other types of income will have their claim assessed based on their income and savings. In all these cases it will be necessary to supply up to date proof of all income, and savings. You can apply for Housing Benefit if you have capital/savings of £16,000 or less, or if you have more than this and are receiving Guarantee Pension Credit.

    Log onto our benefits calculator to find out if you might qualify before completing an application form.

    What can I receive?
    The amount of benefit available to you varies as this is a means tested benefit and is based on your financial and personal circumstances.

    Welfare Reforms 2013 onwards

    The Welfare Reform Act 2012 introduces the most fundamental reforms to the social security system for 60 years. Aims for a simpler, fairer benefits system & to ensure work pays.

    There are a number of major changes starting from April 2013 as follows:

    Universal Credit

    Claims for Universal Credit in Ryedale commenced on 16 February 2015 for new claimants who are:

    • Single
    • GB National or normally resident in GB
    • Valid NINO
    • Working age 18 years - 60 years +6mths
    • Have bank or building society account
    • Not be homeless or in supported housing
    • Not own their own home (including part ownership)
    • Not have more than £6000 savings and capital

    Universal Credit will provide a new single system of means-tested support for working-age people in and out of work. Support for housing costs, children and childcare costs will be integrated in the new benefit. It will also provide elements for disabled people and carers.

    Existing means-tested benefits that will no longer be paid include income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.

    For those in work, financial support will be withdrawn at a single transparent rate as earnings increase to ensure that work always pays and is seen to pay.

    Claims for Universal Credit are expected to be made online (by default) with payment of Universal Credit direct to the household.

    Social Sector Size Restriction

    From 1 April 2013 there will be changes in the way Housing Benefit is calculated for people who rent their home from the local council, a housing association or another provider of social housing. The regulations are for working age customers. Pensioners will not be affected by the new rules.

    This means there will be restrictions on the size of property Housing Benefit will pay for, based on who lives in the property. If someone has more bedrooms in their accommodation than they need according to the new rules, they will be considered to be "under-occupying" that property and a percentage reduction will be applied to their eligible rent and service charges.

    The new rules allow one bedroom for:

    • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
    • any other adult aged 16 or over
    • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
    • any two children aged under 10
    • any other child

    The amount of the percentage reduction will depend on how many extra bedrooms you have:

    • 14% if you have one extra bedroom
    • 25% if you have two or more extra bedrooms

    The size limit rules will apply to anyone who is of working age and receives Housing Benefit for property where the landlord is a housing association or local council.

    For a more detailed account of these changes and any other questions you may have download frequently asked questions for Social Size Criteria at the bottom of the page or email Benefit Services. A leaflet is also available to download on The National Housing Federation website.

    Social Fund

    From 6 April 2013 Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans for general living expenses which form part of the discretionary Social Fund will be abolished and replaced with the North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund. For the Ryedale District area the new provision (Local Welfare Assistance) will be the responsibility of North Yorkshire County Council and you can download a leaflet on the subject from their website.

    Overall Benefit Cap

    The Benefit Cap is a limit on the total out of work benefits that a family unit can receive with the aim being to ensure that workless households will no longer receive more in benefits than average working families (combined income after tax and national insurance)

    A cap on the amount of benefit a household may receive so that these are in line with average weekly earnings (£500 per week for couples and lone parent households and £350 per week for single households).

    The Benefits Cap will not apply where someone is entitled to:

    • Attendance Allowance
    • Disability Living Allowance and its replacement Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
    • Employment and Support Allowance where the Support Component has been awarded.
    • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
    • War Widow's/ Widower's Pension
    • Working Tax Credit

    There will be a grace period of 39 weeks when the cap will not apply for people who have been in work for 52 weeks or more (and have lost their job through no fault of their own) before they claim benefit.

    Any excess amount over cap will be deducted from Housing Benefit.

    Crisis Loan alignment payments will be replaced with a new national payment on account scheme.

    Localised Support for Council Tax

    As part of Welfare Reform Council Tax Benefit is being abolished and from 1 April 2013 was replaced with local schemes but will not form part of Universal Credit.

    The Government is reducing annual grant payments for Council Tax support made to Local Authorities by 10% of current levels aiming to save £480 million annually and the grant will be cash limited.

    Each local billing authority has to design and implement its own Localised Support for Council Tax (LSCT) scheme which will mean reduced financial assistance for working age people towards paying their Council Tax bills.

    Pensioners are fully protected at the same levels of support as they received under Council Tax Benefit.

    Any further information you may need about making a claim can be found in our Council Tax Support new claim webpage.

     Personal Independence Payments

    Personal Independence Payment (PIP) will be introduced for all new claims. The non-means tested payment helps with extra costs incurred and a new independent assessment will ensure support is targeted at those who need it.

    Awards of Personal Independence Payment will be based upon the circumstances of the individual and will look at the impact of their disability or health condition on the ability to live independently and participate in society.

    Over time, more than 2 million existing Disability Living Allowance claimants will be contacted to check their eligibility for the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP). It will take until 2016 to complete the reassessment process. The new fairer independent assessment will be delivered by a contracted provider and will help ensure financial support is better targeted. There will be a full roll-out of managed reassessment claims.

    Reassessment activity to invite claims to PIP will end by March 2016 with some claims not completing the full reassessment activity until later in 2016.

    Further information on Personal Independence Payments is available direct from the Department for Work and Pensions.

    Information on any of these new Welfare Reforms can be found on the Governments new website www.gov.uk.

     

  • Debt counselling

    Information on where to get help and advice on managing any debts.

    Local Face to Face Advice

    Ryedale Citizens Advice Bureau have specialist trained debt advisors, please contact them to make an appointment to see an advisor or attend their generic drop in sessions for an initial assessment of your needs.

    Address:-
    Stanley Harrison House
    Malton
    North Yorkshire
    YO17 9RD
    Phone 03444 111444

    Hope Central have specialist trained debt advisors, please contact them to make an appointment

    Address:-
    62-64 Castlegate
    Malton
    North Yorkshire
    YO17 7DZ
    Phone 01653 692616

    Personalised online and debt advice available over the telephone

    The Citizens Advice Bureau have a national website offering advice about managing your debts.

    Step Change is a national charity which can support you and provide personalised advice about managing your debts – find out more at Step Change website or by phoning 0800 1381111.

    Debt Support Trust is a registered charity. For further information visit their website or phone 0800 0850226.

    General Debt Advice

    GOV.UK - options for paying off your debts

    National Debtline

    Where can I get advice about rent arrears?

    Please contact your landlord or letting agent in the first instance to let them know that you are struggling to pay your rent. You may be able to come to an agreement to pay off what you owe in instalments.

    Contact the Housing Options Team on 01653 600666 for advice or arrange an appointment to discuss your situation. We aim to prevent homelessness in the district and the Housing Options Team will help you to try to remain in your home.

    Stonham Homestay operate a Homelessness Prevention Service in Ryedale and they may be able to provide support. You can refer yourself to them by phoning 01653 694703 or 01723 366566.

    Contact the Housing Benefit department on 01653 600666 to see if you are eligible for any financial help.

     

     

  • Domestic violence

    Where to get help and support if you become or are a victim of domestic abuse.

    • Independent Domestic Abuse Services 24hr Helpline 03000 110 110
    • 24hr National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247
    • Rape Crisis 0808 802 9999
    • Sexual Abuse Referral Centre 01904 669339

    Safer Ryedale

    Safer Ryedale aims to reduce the number of repeat cases of domestic abuse. We have already seen a reduction in cases, through the work of a Domestic Abuse Co-ordinator for Scarborough and Ryedale, in developing and implementing nationally recognised work with partner agencies in the statutory and voluntary sector. 

    One example "Making Safe" seeks to support victims of domestic abuse to remain in the family home, whilst challenging the behaviour of the offender.

    We will also raise awareness and encourage education initiatives on the issues of domestic abuse, in the community and with harder to reach groups. This includes working with the national Dot Com Children's Foundation project.

    We will also develop training packages with other agencies, to enable their staff to provide an effective response to domestic abuse.

     

  • Homelessness prevention

    Reducing Homelessness is a key priority for the Council. The Housing Options Service aims to provide a free comprehensive Housing Advice Service so should you be homeless or threatened with homelessness, you should approach the Housing Options Team as soon as possible to give them the full details of your situation. They can give you a full range of advice and options in order to assist you.

    housing silver logo

    Reducing homelessness is a key priority for the Council. The Housing Options Service aims to provide a free comprehensive housing advice service so should you be homeless or threatened with homelessness, you should approach the Housing Options Team as soon as possible to give them the full details of your situation. They can give you a full range of advice and options in order to assist you. For a detailed advice leaflet, please visit the National Homelessness Advice Service.

    In addition to this free and impartial service, there are a number of independent organisations in the District who can also give housing advice; a list of these can be found on our Housing Advice page.

    How do I know if I will be considered as being homeless or under threat of homelessness?

    The homelessness law covers more than being out on the streets. You will be considered homeless or under threat of homelessness if:

    • You have nowhere to live in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.
    • You are afraid to go home because someone living there has been or may be violent to you or your family.
    • You have nowhere you can live together with all your family.
    • You do not have the owner's permission to stay, e.g. you are a squatter.
    • You have been locked out of your home.
    • You have somewhere to stay but it is not reasonable for you to do so, e.g. following violence, threats of violence or harassment.
    • Your home is a boat, mobile home or caravan and you have nowhere to put it.
    • You have been given Notice to Quit by your landlord.
    • You have been taken to Court by your mortgage lender for arrears and the Court has said you must leave.
    • You have been living with friends and they have asked you to leave.

    We will make every effort to prevent homelessness and in these circumstances, there may be times when the Council has a legal obligation to offer interim accommodation, whilst investigating your homelessness further. To be offered interim emergency accommodation, you must be:

    • Eligible for assistance
    • Homeless
    • In priority need

    If you have previously applied as homeless, there must also be a material change since your last application.

    Once your homelessness has been investigated in full, a legal obligation may exist to find permanent, suitable and affordable housing for some people. We fulfil this obligation by working in partnership with registered social landlords. To be offered accommodation via Ryedale District Council you must be:

    • Eligible for assistance
    • Homeless
    • In priority need
    • Not be intentionally homeless
    • Have a valid local connection with the District of Ryedale

    As we may not have a duty to fully assist all applicants, we will try to work with you before you become homeless in order to enable you to remain where you are , or to find you suitable and affordable alternative accommodation.

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    Am I eligible for assistance?

    In general you are not eligible for assistance if you are a person from abroad and unable to make a claim for housing benefit. However, this is not a definitive statement, and we would advise that you seek advice on this matter from the Council's Housing Options Team.

    Do I have a priority need?

    People are considered to have a priority need if they:

    • have dependent children living with them
    • are pregnant
    • are a person aged between 16-17 (unless a 'relevant child', or a child in need, owed a duty under s.20 of the Children Act 1989)
    • are under 21, and in care or fostered between the ages of 16-18
    • are 21 or more, and vulnerable as a result of having been looked after or fostered (except for 'relevant students')
    • are vulnerable due to old age, mental illness or handicap, or physical disability
    • are vulnerable due to having been a member of Her Majesty's regular naval, military or air forces
    • are vulnerable due to having been in prison
    • are vulnerable as a result of violence from another person, or vulnerable due to another special reason
    • are homeless due to flood, fire or other disaster

    What is interim / temporary accommodation?

    If a duty exists to offer you interim / temporary accommodation, this may include;

    • Bed and Breakfast accommodation
    • Other temporary accommodation
    • Hostel accommodation

    What happens if I am not in priority need?

    If you are not in Priority Need, the Council has a duty to provide you with advice and assistance to help you to secure your own accommodation. We can work with you to help you, but it may take a while until accommodation can be found. The Council does not have a duty to provide interim / temporary or permanent accommodation for you when you are not in Priority Need, although if such accommodation is available this may be considered.

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    Am I intentionally homeless?

    This means the Council thinks you chose to leave a home which you could have stayed in, or that it was your fault that you lost your home, or you unreasonably failed to take up accommodation which was available to you.

    This would apply if:

    • You chose to sell your home when there was no risk of losing it.
    • You lost your home because of wilful and persistent refusal to pay rent or mortgage payments.
    • You have neglected your affairs having disregarded advice from a qualified person.
    • You voluntarily gave up adequate accommodation in this country or abroad without first having found secure accommodation to move into, when it would have been reasonable for you to stay there.
    • You have been evicted for anti-social behaviour.
    • You have voluntarily resigned from a job with tied accommodation where circumstances indicate it would have been reasonable to continue in the employment.
    • You entered into an arrangement causing you to leave accommodation which was otherwise available to you.

    When a homelessness application is made, the officer dealing with your application will have to check to see if you have deliberately done something or deliberately not done something that resulted in you becoming homeless. If you are considered "intentionally homeless", the Council may only have to provide temporary accommodation for a reasonable period of time, possibly 28 days, while you make your own arrangements to find alternative accommodation.

    Do I have a local connection?

    You would have a local connection with the Ryedale District if you, or a person you would normally live with, has:

    • Lived in the District for six out of the last 12 months, or three out of the last five years
    • Has close family associations within the District who have lived in the District for al least the last five years
    • Have permanent employment within the District

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    What happens if I apply as homeless?

    Should you make a homelessness application, you will be interviewed, possibly on more than one occasion, by the officer dealing with your application. All homelessness application are dealt with under the relevant legislation; Housing Act 1996 Part VII (Homelessness), (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002). The interview will be conducted in private and all the information you provide will be treated in confidence. In some cases it may be necessary to contact a third party, such as your doctor, other local authority, the Police or Children's and Young People's Services in order to complete necessary enquiries. You will be asked to give your authorisation for these enquiries to be made. You will also be asked to provide certain relevant documents, such as a tenancy agreement, or proof of your income.

    Once your homeless application has been investigated in full, you will receive a written decision on your application. We aim to make a decision and inform you of it within 33 working days of you initially making the homeless application. If you disagree with the decision made, you have the right to request a review. The letter you receive informing you of the decision of your homelessness application will also include information on how to request a review, should you wish to do so.

    Young people's housing solution "The Hub". Information and advice on accessing homelessness and advice services for young people in Ryedale.

    Housing hub logoWorking in partnership with Health and Adult Services, Children and Young People's Services and other local housing support and accommodation providers, Ryedale District Council deals with all 16-25 year olds needing housing advice and support through a Hub based at the Council.

    The Young People's Housing Solutions @The Hub is in your area to assist with all issues around housing and homelessness.

    We offer

    • Support if you are a young person aged between 16-25 and are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
    • General housing advice and support around issues like benefits and managing a tenancy.
    • Offer you support and help to stay in your own home where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

    However, we know staying at home isn't always suitable or possible, so we offer a range of accommodation and support services.

    Staff in the hub will

    • Talk you through everything and make sure you have a clear understanding of your options so you can make an informed choice.
    • Answer any questions you have.
    • Take into account your wishes and feelings.
    • Provide you with a support worker who will help you through the entire process.

    As parents have parental responsibility until their child is 18, they will always be contacted by the Council for clarification of circumstances. If a young person presents as homeless Ryedale District Council will offer to refer people with relationship problems to mediation services, to try to solve their problems even if only in the short term.

    Due to the lack of affordable accommodation in the District, many people feel they have no choice but to declare friends/relatives as 'homeless' in the belief it will help them. However there is a severe lack of housing available and attempts to solve housing problems must be sought first.

    Accommodation

    SASH - Safe and Sound Homes
    The Council may refer young single homeless people to an organisation called 'SASH' where a night stop placement will be organised. Transport, meal and a bed for the night are provided by volunteers within their home. All referrals come through the hub at Ryedale District Council.

    SASH
    SASH offers supported lodgings in Ryedale for young people referred to us via the Housing Hub. Young people placed with by SASH live in the home of a carefully recruited host, for up to two years. The host and project workers support young people to develop their independence skills, such as budgeting and basic cooking. The host provides a suitable room of their own, breakfast and an evening meal daily.

    The young people are encouraged to continue/ begin an education programme/ job and can be referred for additional specialist support with personal issues they wish to work on. All referrals come through the hub at the Council.

    Support
    The Ryedale Hub offers support to 16 - 25 year olds to obtain and maintain accommodation in the Ryedale District.

    The Hub is a partnership of Ryedale District Council, Ryedale YMCA and Foundation providing a variety of accommodation, including rooms in supported accommodation at Derwent Lodge - staffed 24 hours a day, to independent accommodation across Ryedale.

    What is the council doing to tackle homelessness?

    Independent advice for young people about housing and homelessness is available from Shelter.

    Housing Forum

    The Housing Forum meets quarterly at Ryedale House and issues involving the provision of affordable homes, homelessness and support for vulnerable people are discussed. Meetings are attended by Housing Association staff, Housing Options Staff, Councillors, staff from support agencies in the Ryedale area, Youth workers, mental health professionals and other agencies including community groups who help support people. Agencies share information and good practice and work together to achieve the aims of the Homelessness Strategy and Action Plan. For more information please contact the Housing Options Team on 01653 600666.

    Homelessness Strategy

    The council is required by law to produce a Homelessness Strategy and Action Plan and this is a detailed document that describes the local aims of the Housing Services Department and how they are tackling homelessness in partnership with other agencies in the district, and what measures are in place to prevent homelessness locally. The Homelessness Strategy is produced after consultation with service users, staff and partner agencies. The Action Plan is reviewed annually.

    Multi-agency work

    The Housing Team work closely with other statutory and non-statutory agencies in the area including North Yorkshire Police, Mental Health Services, Health Visitors, Foundation, Domestic Abuse Services, Stonham, Ryedale Citizens Advice Bureau, Horton Housing, Housing Associations, etc. Staff from the Housing Team attend many local meetings to share information about local services and work together to prevent homelessness in the area.

    Ryedale is a member of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Strategic Housing Partnership. The partnership identifies and responds to key housing issues and has a Joint Strategic Housing Strategy. For further information visit the partnership website

    The Housing Options Team

    The Housing Options Team offer housing advice appointments most weekdays and can advise landlords and tenants about their legal rights and responsibilities. They carry out holistic work including a financial assessment and can signpost clients to many other agencies who may be able to help them with specialist needs. Their main aim is to prevent homelessness and they have good links with the housing benefit team, housing associations and private landlords in the Ryedale area. They may be able to negotiate on behalf of a tenant and help them to access benefits or charity payments to prevent their homelessness. The Housing Options Team also deal with Homelessness Applications and source temporary accommodation for eligible homeless people in the Ryedale District.

    Homelessness prevention toolkit

    The Housing Options Team have access to a number of options they can use to try to prevent homelessness by keeping someone in their current home or helping them to access alternative accommodation. This includes:-

    • Bond Guarantee Scheme
    • Rent In Advance
    • Bond Payment
    • Mortgage Repossession Loan Scheme
    • Discretionary Housing Payments (accessed through housing benefit team)

    Housing solutions

    The Housing Options Team have specialist officers who work with people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness to source properties in the private sector including lodgings, rooms in shared houses and independent flats and houses.

    Tenancy Support

    The Housing Options team make referrals to Stonham Homestay who provide a homelessness prevention service in Ryedale and they can help people to find ways to pay the rent or resolve other issues in order that they can stay in their current home.

    I have mortgage arrears and am worried that my home will be repossessed – where can I get advice?

    If you are at risk of losing your home due to mortgage arrears please contact the Housing Options Team as soon as possible on 01653 60066 and arrange an appointment to see a Housing Options Officer.

    Mortgage Lenders are required to follow a specific set of actions (visit Shelter for details of the pre-action protocol) before taking legal action to repossess properties and the team can check whether the lender has met their legal obligations, this may result in you having more time to find an appropriate solution.

    The Housing Options Team may refer you to specialist advisors who provide a free service and can contact you directly by telephone to go through your personal circumstances and advise you about your options. The Housing Options Officer can also consider, if you can afford it, whether you may be eligible for a Breathing Space loan to help you to keep your home.

    If the Housing Options Team are unable to help you to remain in your home the officer will help you to find alternative accommodation.

    If you decide to sell your home rather than having it repossessed, advice is available with regard to an Assisted Voluntary Sale, Assisted Sale or Supported Sale. A brief explanation of this process is available from Stepchange

    Financial assistance is available for some people who are struggling to pay their mortgage through Job Centre Plus or the Pension Service, this is called Support for Mortgage Interest or SMI. More information is available at GOV.UK.

    Free debt advice is available for people with mortgage arrears. The housing options team can refer you to a local specialist debt advisor through Ryedale Citizens Advice Bureau or you can obtain free advice from StepChange online or call free on 0800 138 1111 (inc mobiles).

    The Money Advice Service, National Debtline and Shelter also have websites with detailed advice for homeowners who are struggling with mortgage arrears.

    10 Step Guide

    We have developed a 10 Step Guide to keeping your home, available to download and print below for future reference

    If you are in arrears with your mortgage or rent, and your landlord or lender is considering (or it has begun) action to repossess your home - be guided by the following steps:

    1. Communication is vital
    Respond to any correspondence you receive from your landlord or mortgage company and talk to them about the situation. They may be prepared to enter into an agreement that could avoid the need for possession proceedings at all. Keep a written record of any correspondence and confirm what you agree in writing.

    2. Get advice straight away
    Try to get advice about what to do as soon as possible. Speak to the Duty Housing Options Officer at Ryedale House or contact the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. There are other agencies and help-lines where you can also seek advice—please enquire with the Housing Options team for further information or see our website.

    3. Make sure you turn up to Court
    We strongly advise you to attend court. Key House will be able to provide FREE legal advice and support you on the day at court. If you do not attend court, the judge will have no alternative but to award possession of your home to your landlord or lender.

    4. Get to Court early
    Make sure you arrive in good time for your hearing. If your case is called on without you being there, an order will be made in your absence.

    5. Try to reach an agreement
    Even if proceedings have been issued it is never too late to try and reach an agreement, either before the hearing or even on the day of the hearing.

    6. Bring along someone to support you
    You can take a family member or friend along for moral support however they may not be able to go into the court room with you.

    7. Take all relevant paperwork to court
    If there are documents that may be relevant to your case, for example, letters from the Benefits Agency or correspondence about the prospective sale of your property, bring them with you.

    8. Tell the judge everything relevant
    Once you are in the hearing you should ensure you explain to the judge in clear and concise language everything you think may be relevant to your case. A typical hearing will take about 10 minutes so time is limited to present your case.

    9. Don’t assume that the Judge will make a Possession Order
    Judges are human and may have more sympathy for your situation than you give them credit for depending on the supporting evidence you provide.

    10. Don’t assume that the Judge will be a ‘soft touch’ either!
    The Judge can’t help you if there is nothing to work with, and can only make a lawful decision on the information presented to them.

    Where can I get housing advice in an emergency out of office hours when the council is closed?

    If you live in Ryedale and you become suddenly homeless and need help to find emergency accommodation ring 01653 697737 and the operator will arrange for a duty officer to contact you.

    What is the council doing to help people who sleep rough?

    If you or someone you know is sleeping rough you should contact the Housing Options Team on 01653 600666 and make an appointment to see a duty officer. The officer will fully assess the persons needs and situation and give advice about their options and also link them up with other support agencies in the area who may be able to assist and support them.

    no second nightNo Second Night Out

    We work in partnership with neighbouring authorities in North Yorkshire to deliver the Single Homeless: No Second Night Out (NSNO) Action Plan.

    The No Second Night Out Principles are:-

    1. New rough sleepers are identified and helped off the streets immediately so they do not fall into a dangerous rough sleeping lifestyle
    2. Members of the public play an active role in reporting and referring people sleeping rough
    3. Rough sleepers are helped to access a place of safety where their needs can be quickly assessed and they can receive advice on their options
    4. They are able to access emergency accommodation and other services, such as healthcare, if needed
    5. People from other areas should be re-connected back to their local community unless there is a good reason not to do so
    6. Offer of accommodation
      Within 7 days of the assessment taking place, we will try to find suitable accommodation for the rough sleeper, if they are still in need of accommodation and willing to work with our service and support services. The accommodation may be in Ryedale or elsewhere depending on the individuals' needs, local connection, support network and the availability of accommodation. We will make a Single Service Offer in writing and may provide assistance to take up that offer through sub-regional funding.

    In Ryedale there are very few people who sleep rough, however we provide advice and assistance for anyone sleeping rough and will support them into settled accommodation.  This plan outlines the projects and resources provided to address rough sleeping. Our offer to tackle rough sleeping in the district is shown below:-

    1. Identifying rough sleepers
    The Housing Options Team works with local agencies to raise awareness of how to get help for someone sleeping rough. The team can be contacted on the main council number during office hours or through our out of hours emergency contact number 01653 697737 or by contacting Streetlink on 0300 500 0914

    2. Completing a needs assessment
    We will normally offer an interview at the council building in Malton but alternative venues throughout the district can be arranged. We will try to carry out the interview the next working day if at all possible.

    3. Provide emergency accommodation
    We do not have a direct access hostel in Ryedale but our housing options staff may be able to find suitable emergency accommodation.

    4. Provide information, advice and support
    We will offer a full assessment, give housing options advice and refer all rough sleepers for housing related support and any other support that may meet their individual needs. We may be able to offer assistance to access private rented accommodation and assistance to apply for social housing.

    5. Assistance with reconnection
    Where a rough sleeper has no local connection to Ryedale we can support them to reconnect with another district in the United Kingdom or abroad. We follow the guidelines provided by HomelessLink Reconnections Toolkit.

    Ryedale District Council is signed up to the York and North Yorkshire No Second Night Out Pledge which is an initiative designed to provide support to rough sleepers to help them off the streets. Funds are available to provide bespoke support and help people who have been sleeping rough to find settled accommodation.

    For more information, visit Street Link or telephone 0300 500 0914.

    Contact

    Email Housing Services
    Tel: Housing Options on 01653 600666

    Ryedale District Council
    Ryedale House
    Malton
    YO17 7HH

     

  • Housing allocation system

    The Council is a non stock holding authority but several Housing Associations provide social housing in the district, including the main provider of social housing, Yorkshire Housing. Email Yorkshire Housing or telephone 0345 3664404.

    What is the Allocation or Lettings Policy?

    north yks homechoice logo Feb 2017Social Housing in Ryedale is advertised on the North Yorkshire Home Choice website. All properties are allocated in accordance with the common allocations policy. Ryedale District Council and Yorkshire Housing are amongst the partners who have developed this policy and they work together with other local authorities and housing providers across North Yorkshire according to strict guidelines.

    How are applicants prioritised?

    The Choice Based Lettings system does not work on points but applicants are banded into four categories according to their housing need, these categories are Emergency, Gold, Silver or Bronze.

    For further information please visit the North Yorkshire Home Choice website.

    Where can I get Housing Options Advice?

    If you require housing advice contact the Housing Options Team at Ryedale District Council or telephone our customer services team on 01653 600666 to arrange an appointment with the duty officer. Appointments are normally available ever weekday except for Wednesday at Ryedale House in Malton.

     

  • Housing and social housing policy

    The Council is a non stock holding authority but several Housing Associations provide social housing in the district, including the main provider of social housing, Yorkshire Housing

    Social housing is allocated according to the North Yorkshire Homechoice Lettings Policy.

    The York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Strategic Housing Partnership enables local authorities to work closely with stakeholders and the government to meet housing need.

    Ryedale has its own Homelessness Strategy, review and action plan which was formulated with partners and is monitored and reviewed on an annual basis.

    The Council currently works to the jointly agreed York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Housing Strategy. In addition to this there is a local strategy action plan in place which outlines how the Sub Regional Strategy will be delivered locally.

    The district Homelessness Strategy, Review and Action Plan is available to download below.

    For general advice about Housing in Ryedale please email the Housing Services Team.

    {attachments}

  • Housing evictions

    If you are Housing Association tenant with rent arrears and you are worried about eviction please see the information below

    housing bronze logoWhat should I do first to try to stop the eviction?

    What can the Council do to help?

    Why should I contact my landlord?

    What can the Citizens Advice Bureau do to help?

    Where can I get housing support?

    What will happen if I become homeless?

    Is there anyone who can support me at a Court Hearing?

    What should I do first to try to stop the eviction?

    Don't delay - get some help today, contact the Council's Housing Options Team straight away on 01653 600666.

    What can the Council do to help?

    A Housing Options Officer can advise you about your rights and may be able to assist you to claim benefits which you are entitled to. They may also refer you to other agencies which can help with debt problems, support you at court or negotiate on your behalf. Should they be unable to prevent your homelessness they will advise you of your Housing Options and can investigate your homelessness and find out whether you are eligible for temporary accommodation or other assistance.

    Contact the Housing Options Team or telephone 01653 600666 to make an appointment for an interview with the duty officer. Appointments are usually available every weekday at Ryedale House in Malton.

    Why should I contact my landlord?

    Depending on your personal circumstances you may be able to work with your landlord, for example by arranging a meeting to look at your finances and agree a payment plan to pay off your arrears. This action could prevent you from becoming homeless so that you can stay in your home.

    What can Citizens Advice Bureau do to help?

    Ryedale CAB may also be able to help to prevent you from becoming homeless. They have specially trained advisors who may be able to help. They hold drop-in sessions at Stanley Harrison house, Norton Road, Norton, Malton each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.30am until 12.30pm and there is a drop-in session in Pickering library each Tuesday from 10.00am until 1.00pm. Email Ryedale CAB or telephone the advice line on 0844 4111444.

    Where can I get housing support?

    Stonham Homestay provide a Homelessness Prevention service in Ryedale and you can contact them directly to ask for help by phoning 01653 694703 or 01723 366566.

    Shelter is a national organisation which has a comprehensive housing advice and phone helpline on 0808 8004444.

    Is there anyone who can support me at a Court Hearing?

    Support may be available from Foundation. Foundation is an independent charity whose legal advice team provides housing advice and legal representation to residents of North and East Yorkshire who are in danger of losing their homes.

    Foundation has a Duty Housing Adviser or Solicitor present on housing possession days in York, Scarborough, Bridlington, Harrogate and Skipton County Courts. The Adviser can negotiate on your behalf and represent you at the court hearing.

    Contact:
    Phone 01904 557 490
    Fax 01904 633 962

    Room D005, Ground Floor D Block,
    Hudson House, Toft Green, York YO1 6JT

     

     

     

  • Private tenants rent assistance

    Information and advice on renting privately from a landlord.

    Ryedale District Council does not have any council houses and there is a high demand for housing association properties in the area. Private rental may be an option for you, as you can choose the location and type of property and move in relatively quickly if the landlord agrees. Depending on your circumstances, the Housing Options Team may be able to help you to access private rented accommodation.

    How do I find a property to rent?

    There is a dedicated Letting agent in Ryedale and most of the local Estate Agents have properties to let. There are also several large landowners in Ryedale who rent out residential accommodation; some of the properties are houses in quiet villages, and some are flats and houses in the market town of Malton. To obtain a list of local estate agents and landlords please emailor telephone 01653 600666 or a list is available in the reception area at Ryedale House, Malton. Local newspapers, the internet, shop windows and supermarket notice boards also carry advertisements for accommodation and should be checked frequently as available properties are quickly taken.

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    Can I afford to pay the rent?

    Renting through the private sector is generally more expensive than through social landlords. You may, though, be entitled to assistance towards the initial costs of renting such as legal fees, rent in advance and bond (subject to eligibility and a local connection to the area), and you may be able to claim Housing benefit and Council Tax relief (either partially or in full) in order to help you with the cost of renting your home.

    Assistance from Housing Benefits is calculated using the Local Housing Allowance (LHA). This calculation makes renting privately more affordable than ever for people relying on Housing Benefit. LHA rates are reviewed monthly and can be checked by visiting: Directgov. alternatively you can telephone Customer Services at Ryedale District Council on 01653 600666.

    Whatever your financial situation, if you are considering renting privately, the Housing Options Team can assist you to work out how affordable a property is and a benefit calculation can be done before you commit to a tenancy. We would never suggest taking on a property that has been assessed as unaffordable for you.

    How can Ryedale District Council help me to rent privately?

    The Housing Options Team provides advice about Homelessness and Housing Options. Appointments are normally available every weekday and can be booked by telephoning Customer Services on 01653 600666. Alternatively you can email your query and an officer will answer your query as soon they can.

    Depending on your personal circumstances you may be able to get assistance through one of the following options:

    • Landlord Incentives
    • Tenant Incentives
    • Bond Guarantee Scheme
    • Bond Payment Scheme 
    • Rent in advance Scheme
    • Fast Track Housing Benefit

    To find out more please contact the Housing Options Team.

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    What sort of tenancy will I have?

    Privately rented tenancies are usually called Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST), which are initially for a 6 or 12 month fixed term period. After this they roll over on a monthly basis, becoming a periodic tenancy. This means that you do not need to sign up a new document after the first initial period has passed. A landlord is required to give two months' written notice in order to terminate this type of tenancy.

    For more detailed information about private tenancies please visit GOV.UK.

    Visit Shelter for independent advice about tenancies.

    What is a bond or tenancy deposit?

    Most landlords ask for a deposit to be paid before you move in to a rented property. All landlords taking payment from tenants in the form of a bond or deposit MUST pay this into a Tenancy Deposit Scheme and give the tenant full details within 28 days of the start of the tenancy. Failure to do so could result in legal action being taken by the tenant against the landlord who may then incur significant fines.

    More detailed information about tenancy deposit schemes can be found by visiting GOV.UK.

    Visit Shelter for independent advice about tenancy deposits.

    Why do landlords ask for references?

    Landlords often ask potential tenants to provide references to prove that you are reliable and will be able to afford the rent. This usually means providing bank details and/or a letter from your employer confirming employment. Sometimes landlords request character references or references from former landlords. If you are taking on a tenancy for the first time, a landlord might accept a reference from a parent or guardian.

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    Why do some landlords carry out credit checks?

    Landlords need to assess potential tenants carefully before agreeing to let them move in. As part of this process many estate agents and landlords carry out credit checks through a credit agency to find out if tenants have unpaid debts or county court judgements. You may be charged for the check to be done and this fee will not be returned.

    What is a guarantor?

    You might be asked to provide a guarantor for the rent. This is more common for young people or the unemployed or someone with a poor credit history. A guarantor is someone who agrees to pay the rent if you do not. You may be charged a fee for a credit check to be carried out, to assess whether the person who has agreed to be guarantor is likely to and can afford to pay the rent.

    What is a property inventory?

    An inventory is a list of everything that your landlord has provided with the property you're renting, including: furniture, carpets, curtains, appliances and kitchenware. It should also state the condition everything is in - particularly anything that was already damaged, marked or worn before you moved in. It is a good idea to take photographs to help prove what was inside the property when you moved in. Many estate agents provide an inventory at the start of the tenancy and check it with you.

    Visit Shelter for independent advice about inventories.

    What should I do if I want to move out and end the tenancy?

    As a tenant you and your landlord have certain rights and you cannot just leave the property without giving proper notice. If you need advice about ending a tenancy please email the Housing Options Team or call on 01653 600666 for telephone advice or to arrange an appointment.

    Visit GOV.UK for information about what to do at the end of a tenancy.

    Tell us what you think about this service.

     

  • Property register

    The Council is a non stock holding authority but several Housing Associations provide social housing in the district, including Yorkshire Housing, the main provider of social housing. To contact Yorkshire Housing telephone 0345 3664404.

    north yks homechoice logo Feb 2017

    The Housing Register

    The housing register is a waiting list of applicants applying for social housing. Homes are allocated on the basis of housing need, length of time on the register and choice of area and property type. We have formed a partnership with Housing Associations who have properties in Ryedale, so that most social rented properties are let through one single housing register.

    How do I apply for a Council House in Ryedale?

    There are no council houses in the District and all social housing is provided by Housing Associations including:-

    How do I apply for a Housing Association House in Ryedale?

    Social housing in Ryedale is advertised on the North Yorkshire Home Choice website. All properties are allocated in accordance with the common allocations policy.

    Ryedale District Council and Yorkshire Housing are amongst the partners who have developed this policy and they work together across North Yorkshire according to strict guidelines.

    How can I get housing advice in Ryedale?

    If you require housing advice contact the Housing Options Team at Ryedale District Council or telephone our customer services team on 01653 600666 to arrange an appointment with the duty officer. Appointments are normally available every weekday except Wednesday at Ryedale House in Malton.

     

     

  • Rent arrears

    Information and advice on what to do if you fail to pay your rent. Paying rent is a key part of your tenancy agreement. If you fail to pay your rent you could be at risk of becoming homeless.

    The Council is a non stock holding authority but several Housing Associations provide social housing in the district, including the main provider of social housing, Yorkshire Housing.

    What should I do if I have trouble paying my rent?.

    Am I getting all of the benefits I am entitled to?.

    What if I am struggling with more than one debt?.

    What if I can pay my rent but don't pay it?.

    What should I do if I have trouble paying my rent?

    Paying rent can sometimes be difficult if you are on a low income or have money problems. Here is a brief guide of what you should do if you find yourself in this situation.

    • Don't panic!
    • Contact your Housing Association to discuss your account over the telephone. It is often possible to make an arrangement to pay your arrears by instalments. If you keep to an arrangement like this then no further action will be taken.
    • Email the Housing Options Team for advice.
    • Appointments with a member of the Housing Options team are available at Ryedale House every weekday and can be arranged by phoning Customer Services 01653 600666.
    • If you cannot attend an appointment but would like to speak to one of the team for advice please phone 01653 600666 and ask for Housing Options.

    Am I getting all of the benefits I am entitled to?

    cab logoMany people do not realise that they can claim benefits. You may wish to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for a Welfare Benefit check - it costs nothing to ask for help.

    You can also contact Ryedale District Council's Housing and Council Tax Benefit Section for further advice on (01653 600666).

    You can also use the Benefits Calculator on the GOV.UK Website.

    What if I am struggling with more than one debt?

    If you have several debts, you can contact the Ryedale Citizens Advice Bureau on 08444 111 444. They will make appointments to see you at their offices with a view to helping you to make arrangements with your creditors. You can also get advice from the CAB Advice line.

    You could also contact The National Debt Line who offer free, confidential, independent advice on FREEPHONE 0808 808 4000.

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    What if I can pay my rent but don't pay it?

    Your Housing Association will take action to recover rent from tenants who don't have a genuine reason for their rent arrears. They will send letters to all their tenants who fall into arrears. Do not ignore these letters.

    If you are a Secure Tenant and you do not clear the arrears or contact your Housing Association to speak to your Estate Manager immediately to make a suitable repayment arrangement, you may ultimately be served with a Notice Seeking Possession (NSP). The NSP stays in place for one year and can be renewed if there are still arrears on your account. Four weeks after the NSP is served, if you have failed to make and maintain a repayment arrangement or clear the arrears in full, your Estate Manager may apply to Court for a Possession Order. The court costs of £150.00 will be charged to you.

    If you are an Introductory Tenant you will be served with a Notice of Possession Proceedings (NPP). As an Introductory Tenant, you do not have the same rights as a secure tenant and it is a lot easier for us to gain possession of your home if you fail to pay your rent.

    Your Housing Association will continue to write to you and visit you to try to discuss your arrears and it is very important that you make contact with your Estate Manager. You will receive confirmation of the Court Hearing date in writing. It is very important that you attend the Court Hearing as you will need to explain to the County Court Judge why you have not made your payments.

    If you make an offer to make payments by instalments, and you are a Secure Tenant, the Court may agree to adjourn your case based on this arrangement. This will stay in force until all the arrears are paid in full.

    If you do not make an arrangement to repay your arrears or you default on the agreement made at the County Court, Your Landlord may apply to the County Court again to either request another Hearing or request outright possession of your home. This is called an Eviction Warrant and this gives your landlord the right to send a bailiff to evict you from your home.

    Please note: If you are an Introductory Tenant, the Court will automatically give your Housing Association the possession of your home as you have no security of tenure.

    If you are evicted, your Housing Association will continue to take action to recover the amount owed. If you contact the Council as a result of homelessness occurring due to non payment of rent, you may be considered to have made yourself intentionally homeless and, as such, would not be entitled to alternative permanent accommodation provided by the council.

     

  • Tenant support

    Information on the support available for Housing Association, private rental and disabled tenants.

    Support For Housing Association Tenants

    If you are a tenant of one of the Housing Associations in Ryedale and you are struggling to pay the rent or to manage your tenancy for another reason, please contact your own Housing Association and talk to an officer there, as they may be able to get help for you. Your neighbourhood housing officer may be able to meet up with you to discuss the problems you are having and suggest a solution.

    If your tenancy is at risk and you are threatened with homelessness, please email the Housing Options Team at Ryedale House in Malton or telephone customer services on 01653 600666 for an appointment, as they may be able to offer advice or assistance or refer you to another agency for help.

    Appointments are usually available every weekday and under certain circumstances officers can make appointments elsewhere in the district or visit you at home.

    Support for Tenants in Privately Rented Accommodation

    If you are a tenant in a private rental and you are struggling to pay the rent or to keep your tenancy in some other way, please email the Housing Options Team at Ryedale House in Malton or telephone customer services on 01653 600666 for an appointment, as they may be able to offer advice or assistance or refer you to another agency for help.

    Appointments are usually available every weekday and under certain circumstances officers can make appointments elsewhere in the district or visit you at home.

    Support for People with a Disability

    If you or a friend or relative are struggling in your home due to an illness or disability, you should contact Social Care at North Yorkshire County Council for advice. Visit North Yorkshire County Council's website or telephone 01609 534537.

    Where can I get support if I am threatened with homelessness and live in Ryedale?

    Horton Housing provide a homelessness prevention service in Ryedale and Scarborough. You can contact them by telephone on 01653 694703 on 01723 366566. They can work with clients to help them to claim benefits or maximise their income in some other way through budgeting and accessing charity payments. They operate a drop in service for advice and short term assistance or you can go through their referral process to see if you are eligible for longer term help to prevent your homelessness.

     

     

  • Welfare rights advice

    Information and advice about entitlement to welfare benefits, other allowances, grants and general financial difficulties.

    The local authority benefit advisors offer benefit assessment and provide advice about entitlement to welfare benefits to individuals in receipt of benefit or claiming benefit.NYCC

    Please note that this service is not provided by Ryedale District Council. Information on this service is provided by North Yorkshire County Council. Please select the link on the right for further information on their website.

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