Ryedale District Council


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Advice on release from prison


The council will provide you with advice and assistance and will carry out an assessment of your needs.


You can apply for a discharge grant of £46 from prison before you are released. If you have found accommodation for your first night on release, you can also apply for an extra grant of about £50 which will be paid directly to the accommodation provider.

You can also apply for the North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund. You can do this before you are released, particularly if you need help with essential items (e.g. clothes) or general costs associated with moving into new accommodation, please see their website for more information.

If you would like to apply for welfare support, you could

  • Arrange an appointment with an adviser in your prison to help you on preparation for your release.


If you are eligible to be released on tag, your offender manager will need to approve your intended accommodation to ensure that it complies with your sentence or licence conditions.

Some other housing providers will accept applications from those on tag. Please contact the Resettlement Advice Service on 0300 123 1999 for advice on other housing providers who accept applications from those on tag.


You should speak to your offender manager before you are released if your licence conditions mean that you cannot return home. In some cases, you might be referred to approved premises (i.e. a probation hostel), but places are very limited and are generally reserved for those who are considered high risk and are under multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA).

If you are worried about where you will live for the duration of your licence, you can call the Resettlement Advice Service on 0300 123 1999.


Family and friends
Most people leaving prison return to family or friends, at least in the short term. However, if your relationships with family and friends have broken down, it may be possible to rebuild bridges, perhaps with the help of prison staff. If your family and friends can see that you have made progress in prison, perhaps in terms of addressing past issues, then they might be more prepared to help you on release. It is very difficult to secure housing on release as waiting lists for social housing are long, so it is very important not to dismiss this as an option.

Emergency housing options
If you need somewhere to stay in an emergency, your options include:

  • Contacting Ryedale District Council, Customer Service Team 01653 600666 ext 43625 or email housing
  • Direct access hostels (none available in Ryedale)
  • No Second Night Out Scheme (available through Ryedale District Council).
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation

You can find details of local night shelters, direct access hostels and day centres by contacting the Resettlement Advice Service on 0300 123 1999 for advice.

Local Authority
You need to inform your local council as soon as possible if you believe you are going to be homeless upon your release. The Council will be able to offer advice and assistance to find suitable accommodation up to 56 days before your release date. It is likely that this could be accommodation within the private sector.

Supported housing providers
Supported housing can offer you specialist support to address specific issues that may have led to your imprisonment or to help you with living independently and adjusting back into the community. Varying levels of support can be provided, depending on the type of accommodation service and your needs. These providers can be accessed through the Council.

Private renting
The main advantage of private rented accommodation is that you will have a greater degree of choice in terms of location and type of property. Private rented accommodation is an obvious choice if you have some savings. It is also something that your family and friends can help you to look for and, where possible and necessary, lend money for in order to secure a property.
Your local council might also be able to give you advice about what is available in your local area and how you can get help with paying the rent bonds and rent in advance through a Credit Union.

Local Connection
If you have no accommodation you are able to access and you do not have a local connection to the council area to which you have applied, the council may refer you to another area where you do have a local connection. The council for that area will then have to assess you, offer you advice and support, and decide if they have a duty to offer you accommodation.


If you want to move away from your local area, your main options will be to:

  • Stay with family or friends in a different area
  • Private Rented.

If you wish to move to an area where you have no friends or family whatsoever, and you do not have the means to rent privately, your best option might be to return to your local area for a couple of months as you will have more housing options there. This will give you time to consider your options for moving away.

If you are on licence, you will need to check with your offender manager that it is OK for you to move to a new area, as you will probably need your supervision arrangements to be transferred.


To rent a property you will usually need:

  • good character references, usually from a previous landlord or past employer
  • money for a deposit and rent in advance
  • money to cover your rent.

If you need help to pay your rent, you can apply for housing benefit or Universal Credit Housing Element. The amount of payable to you will depend on where you live and who else lives with you, and is worked out according to the local housing allowance. Local housing allowance (LHA) rates are set for different types of accommodation in each area. The rates range from a single room in a shared house up to properties with four bedrooms.
If you are under 35, you will only be able to get rent to cover you for a room in a shared house. You must be at least 35 years old to qualify for a self-contained one-bedroom property. Please see local housing allowance rate page.


Contact us

Ryedale District Council
Ryedale House
Old Malton Road
Malton, North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH

Email: Contact the Council

Phone: 01653 600666

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