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"Homeless" definition - any council/housing advisors out there?

(4 Posts)
lovecat Thu 08-Sep-11 16:48:26

I hope this is the right place to post...

Without giving too much detail because I don't know the girl involved and only have what I've been told, the best friend of a relative (18yr old) has been thrown out by her parents and 'disowned' (very religious family, girl not so much). She is now 18 weeks pregnant, no father on the scene sad .

Basically this girl is sleeping nights on her friends' floors/sofas as the council have said she needs to be homeless for 28 days straight before they will consider her for housing. As I said, I'm entirely ignorant about this kind of thing, so have no idea if that's right or not, but the fact is, a pregnant 18yo girl is sleeping on a different floor every night while she waits for the council to do something. Apparently she was told she's not considered to be in urgent need as 'you might lose the baby' - so she has to wait to actually give birth before getting any kind of priority housing.

We have a spare room. I would like to offer her the room while she waits out the remainder of the 28 days, but am hesitating because I don't know if she will then be considered 'not homeless' and the council won't rehome her? Much as I sympathise with her and want to help, we don't want a permanent lodger (with a baby) and although DH is in agreement with me re. offering the room, he wants to be very clear that it's only til she gets her own place.

I've looked on our local council website and it's not very informative. It mentions the 28 day rule in terms of having a letter from your landlord/relatives clearly stating they are giving you 28 days' notice to leave - well, obv. she doesn't have that, so she's in a bit of a catch 22.

If we were to offer her the room, would we then become 'landlords' even though we're not charging rent, and would we then have to provide another 28 days' notice from scratch?

If anyone can provide any advice on what we should do, I'd be very grateful. My heart is saying take her in, but my head is a little wary of what might then happen - and if in trying to help, we would only putting her in a worse position (wrt the Council) regarding getting her own place...

Thanks smile

belledechocchipcookie Thu 08-Sep-11 16:53:22

Shelter have a helpline, you should contact them as they will be able to give you the correct advice. IIRC, sleeping on the floor/sofa classes as homeless and she'd have to move around a lot. I'm not certain of the facts though so you really should contact them.

www.shelter.org.uk Poor lass, I hope she gets some support. Her midwife should be able to help also.

lovecat Thu 08-Sep-11 17:03:14

Thanks, Belle, I'll contact them smile I'll ask my relative what her healthcare people are saying too.

belledechocchipcookie Thu 08-Sep-11 23:38:41

I know that her midwife will be very helpful. I really do hope it all works out for her, so sad that her family have treated her like this. sad

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