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Cambridge City Council

Get help to avoid becoming homeless

If you are homeless, statutory duties enable us to work with you to find a new home.

We can also try to help you keep your current home if you are threatened with becoming homeless. We have a duty to do this if you are threatened with homelessness within the next 56 days. If you have been given a notice, even if it does not expire within 56 days, we want to work with you to help you avoid becoming homeless. The earlier you contact us, the more time we will have to work on solutions.

Complete and submit a request for housing assistance, and we’ll contact you as soon as we can. In a housing emergency, phone us as soon as possible.

Request help with homelessness

Read our ‘Homeless in Cambridge’ leaflet [PDF, 0.4MB] to find out more.

Helping you keep your home

  • If you're in danger of losing your home, we will work with you to prevent this happening.
  • We can help if you're fleeing domestic abuse, facing possession proceedings, being evicted by a private landlord or being asked to leave by friends or relatives.
  • If you're a private tenant we may be able to help if you have rent arrears.
  • If it is not possible to prevent you becoming homeless, we will try to help you find a new home. See the ‘Finding a new home’ section further down the page for more details.

Finding a new place to live

Private rents in Cambridge are some of the highest in the region and social housing is scarce. This means that the housing options we can identify may not be in Cambridge and may be in the private sector.

If we are satisfied that you are eligible, and do not have accommodation anywhere you can access and have a right to occupy, we will try to help you resolve your homelessness.

If we have reason to believe you are in a priority need group, we will provide you with temporary accommodation while we try to help you find a more permanent solution.

Whether you are in priority need or not, we will try to relieve your homelessness for a period of 56 days.

If we are unable to help you find a home during this ‘relief period’, and you are in priority need (and have co-operated with us), we may then decide whether we have a duty to provide you with an offer of accommodation. This will depend on whether you have done something (or failed to do something) that has directly led to the loss of your home. This is called ‘intentional homelessness’.

If we do have a duty to offer you accommodation, we will make sure that the accommodation we offer is suitable for you:

You can also read our policy document:

There are several points in the process described above when you have the right to challenge a decision we have made. This is called a ‘right of review’.

You can ask for a review of:

  • the steps we have agreed to take, to help prevent you from becoming homeless, or to help you find suitable accommodation;
  • what duties we have decided are owed to you as a person who is homeless or ‘threatened with homelessness’;
  • a decision to end the duty to prevent or relieve your homelessness;
  • a decision that you have deliberately and unreasonably refused to co-operate with us, in our attempts to help prevent or relieve your homelessness;
  • the suitability of accommodation we offer you - if we agree that we have a duty to offer you accommodation.

Please read our procedure_for_non-cooperation_notices [PDF, 0.1MB]

If we have reached a decision that you can have reviewed, we will tell you who you must contact, and the timescales for doing so. The person who carries out the review will not have been involved in your case previously.

If you would like independent advice about your rights, contact a solicitor or an independent housing advice or law centre. You could contact Cambridge and District Citizens Advice for example.

Contact us

Service related queries

For questions about a service we provide, please use our contact us form