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Relief Duty

If we have not been able to prevent you from becoming homeless under the Prevention Duty, you will be owed the Relief Duty. During the Relief Duty we must take reasonable steps to help you to secure suitable accommodation. The Relief Duty lasts for up to 56 days and is available to all households who are homeless and eligible, regardless of whether they have a priority need. If you are a priority need household, for example you have dependent children or are vulnerable in some way, then you will be provided with interim accommodation whilst we carry out reasonable steps to help you secure alternative accommodation. This help could include being offered accommodation under our Rent Guarantee Scheme or being assisted with a cash deposit to secure privately rented accommodation. Your Personalised Housing Plan will be updated to reflect that you are now in the Relief Duty and new actions are likely to be set to enable you to secure suitable accommodation.

If you do not have a local connection to Reading and you are owed the Relief Duty, this may be referred to the local authority where you do have a local connection if it is safe and appropriate to do so. You will have a local connection to Reading if:

  • You have lived in the Reading Borough for 6 out of the last 12 months or 3 out of the last 5 years or
  • Have a close family member (parent, brother, sister or adult children) who has lived in the Reading Borough for 5 years or 
  • Work within the Reading Borough or
  • Have a special reason such as a risk of harm in the area where you have a local connection

Ending the Relief Duty 

The Relief Duty can be ended in the following ways:

  • if we have successfully relieved your homelessness  and we are satisfied that you have suitable accommodation that has been secured for you and is expected to be available for at least 6 months 
  • if you accept or refuse a final offer of accommodation 
  • if you withdraw your application or we are not able to make contact with you
  • if you cease to be eligible for Housing Assistance
  • if you lose interim accommodation intentionally that has been provided to you under the Relief Duty 
  • if we have taken reasonable steps for 56 days to help you secure accommodation - if this has not been successful and you/ your household is in priority need and homeless through no fault of your own then you will be owed the main homelessness duty  
  • if you deliberately and unreasonably refuse to co-operate with your personalised housing plan - if you are in priority need and not intentionally homeless, you will be made a final offer of a tenancy lasting at least 6 months but you will not be owed the full housing duty
  • if you refuse an offer of suitable accommodation which is expected to be available for at least 6 months

You will be notified in writing if the Relief Duty is going to end. If you disagree with a decision to end your Relief Duty you can request a review of this decision. 

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