Housing advice on splitting up

A NEW leaflet has been produced to offer housing advice to people who have split up with their partners.Christmas is on the way and while it is the season of goodwill the holiday period for some can be a stressful period which results in the breakdown of relationships.

A NEW leaflet has been produced to offer housing advice to people who have split up with their partners.

Christmas is on the way and while it is the season of goodwill the holiday period for some can be a stressful period which results in the breakdown of relationships.

Now chiefs at Suffolk Coastal are advising people they should think twice before leaving their home and making themselves homeless.

Officers have produced what some may find a timely leaflet called Splitting Up, which offers important housing advice to people who may be considering ending a relationship with their partner.

Chris Slemmings, cabinet member for housing said: "The break-up of a relationship can often be stressful and confusing, particularly with regard to individual rights to the shared home, and this leaflet gives a brief summary of legal rights, financial implications and where to get more detailed advice and support.

"We want to reduce the number of homeless households within the district and this initiative is designed to give people important and rather stark information they need before they take the decision to move out - a decision that could have long term consequences for them.

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"This council has provided housing advice to over 506 people so far this year compared to 450 last year.

"Although homelessness can occur for a number of reasons, we hope the information in this leaflet on the different courses of action available, and where to get support and further advice, will help some people to think seriously again before putting themselves into that situation."

The leaflet says a person's rights to remain in the home in the long term will depend on whether they are married, the type of tenancy you have and whose name it is in, or on the legal arrangements for purchase of the home.

The essential matter is to get proper advice - either from the council or one of the specialist agencies detailed in the leaflet.

People can still apply to the council as homeless to have their situation assessed.

The leaflet states: "The council has a duty to advise and assist anyone who is homeless on how to find housing. If you have children who are dependent on you, or are pregnant, over 60 years, have a disability or are 'vulnerable' for some other special reason, the council may have a duty to provide you with temporary accommodation until permanent re-housing is available."

The leaflet is available from Suffolk Coastal's housing surgeries at Melton Hill and Felixstowe, Suffolk Heritage Housing Association, libraries, Citizens Advice Bureaux, Coastal Homeless Action Group and Women's Aid.

The leaflet is also available in a downloadable format from Suffolk Coastal's website www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/envhealth

For further information contact the housing advice and prevention team on 01394 444613.

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