Homes for Bolton

Preventing you from becoming Homeless

We will provide help, advice and support to prevent you from becoming homeless wherever possible. If you are at risk of becoming homeless the most important thing is to get advice as soon as possible. There may be things that can be done to prevent you losing your home and becoming homeless.

We can:

  • work with you and your Landlord to resolve any issues you may have that could be affecting your tenancy. This could be a housing benefit problem, disrepair or a Legal Notice
  • check you meet the criteria towards a non-cash deposit guarantee scheme to assist you to secure private rented accommodation
  • accompany you to the County Court if your Landlord has applied for a Possession Order and negotiate with your Landlord to prevent you from losing your home
  • negotiate with friends and relatives when they have asked you to leave to extend your lodging arrangements, whilst we assist you to access a full range of housing options
  • make appropriate referrals to supported accommodation
  • assist you in any other way that we can to avoid you losing your home, and help you sustain your tenancy

What do I do if I am homeless or about to be made homeless?

You can get advice and assistance by contacting the Homeless Welfare section by telephone or calling in to see us (see contacts).

What we do

The Council has a legal duty to make sure that accommodation is available to a person or persons who it considers:

Am I eligible for homeless assistance?

You must be a British Citizen or a person from abroad who is eligible to receive public funds

How does Bolton Council decide if a person is homeless?

The Council's statutory homeless responsibilities are set out in Part VII of the housing Act 1996 (as amended by 2002 Act).

This covers more than just being out on the streets. You are homeless or threatened with 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 have somewhere to stay but it is not reasonable for you to do so or you have been issued a notice to quit, possession order or eviction warrant 
  • you have been living with friends or relatives and been asked to leave

What is meant by the term 'priority need'?

The following applicants will be classed as being in priority need:

  • Households with dependant children
  • Households where a family member is pregnant 
  • You are aged 16-17 or a care leaver aged 18-20 
  • You are vulnerable due to old age or have a serious physical or mental disability 
  • You are homeless due to an emergency such as fire, flood or other disaster 
  • You have to leave your home because of violence or threats of violence from either someone else living in your home or others outside your home

Please note: If you are not in priority need Bolton Council will give you advice and assistance on the range of housing options available to you.

What does it mean to be intentionally homeless?

This means that Bolton Council thinks you have: 

  • chosen to leave a home that you could have stayed in
  • it was your fault that you lost your home
  • you unreasonably failed to take up accommodation that 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 refusal to pay rent or mortgage payments
  • you voluntarily gave up accommodation in this country or abroad without first having found other accommodation to move into when it would have been reasonable for you to stay there
  • you have been evicted for anti-social behaviour

What is a local connection?

In general, the Council will accept you as having a local connection if: 

  • you live or have lived in Bolton for six out of the last 12 months, or three out of the last five years
  • you are employed in the area
  • you have close family associations in the area

Other special circumstances will be considered.

How long will it take the Council to investigate my homeless application?

The investigation will be carried out as quickly as possible by a Homeless Welfare Officer who will be your case worker and this will normally be completed within 33 days. We will send you a letter giving you details of the decision made and the reasons.

If it is confirmed that we have a duty to house you, the Homeless Welfare Officer will assist you to find suitable accommodation.

The duty to re-house you will cease if you:

  • accept an offer of a tenancy
  • refuse an offer of suitable accommodation
  • leave or lose temporary accommodation without informing us

What happens if I disagree with the Council's homeless decision or offer?

You should talk through any concerns or problems with your Homeless Welfare Officer but if you are still unhappy you have a right to request a review of any decision. The details of the review procedure will be on your decision letter.

Rough Sleeping

See someone sleeping rough?

Bolton Council is committed to ending rough sleeping in the town and ensure that there is a proactive approach to supporting rough sleepers off the street.

If you come across a rough sleeper you can let us know in confidence by email on or by telephoning the Housing Options Services on 01204 335900.

At times of cold / severe weather conditions we will try to secure additional emergency provision for those who may otherwise be sleeping rough. Anybody needing assistance should come directly to the Housing Options service at the town hall to discuss what assistance may be available.

Rough Sleeping advice notes

Homeless in an emergency

Anyone who is homeless in an emergency outside of normal office hours can make contact with the Emergency Duty Social Work team. They are also contactable if someone is taken to a local Police station. Any assistance that can be offered will depend on the particular circumstances and level of concerns as to any relevant vulnerabilities.

Housing Options for those experiencing domestic abuse

If you are thinking about leaving an abusive relationship and are worried about your safety or the safety of your children, you do not have to suffer alone. There are people who can help, and you can take steps to stay safe. Find out more with our:

Housing Options for those experiencing domestic abuse advice notes

Housing Options for those experiencing relationship breakdown

You and your partner may feel that your relationship is worth fighting for and there are organisations such as Relate which can help you resolve your relationship problems. Find out more with our Housing Options for those experiencing relationship breakdown:

Housing Options for those experiencing relationship breakdown 

Housing Options for young people

 Homelessness does not just mean sleeping on the streets. It can also mean your parents asking you to leave and you having nowhere else to go, your family moving out of the area and no longer being able to accommodate you, or being unable to return home due to domestic abuse.

Whatever the circumstances are the Housing Options team will take action to prevent you becoming homeless, or to aid you in finding somewhere else to live. For ore information please see our:

Housing Options for young people advice notes

Homeless Welfare

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Town Hall

Victoria Square



Telephone 01204 335830 (Residents)
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