Homes and property Help and advice services

Help if you are going to be, or have been released from prison or youth detention

If you are still in custody, you should be able to get help from a resettlement worker before you’re released. They can help with: :

  • referrals to suitable accommodation if you’ll be homeless on release
  • claiming Universal Credit
  • applying for a discharge grant for your first night’s accommodation.

Prisons and youth detention centres have a duty to refer you to a local authority if you are going to become homeless within 56 days. If you are within 56 days of release and do not have accommodation arranged for when you are released, you can ask a resettlement worker to make a referral under the Duty to Refer to a council for assistance.

Where will you look for accommodation?

You can apply to any council for help but it’s best to apply to somewhere you have a local connection, by which we mean having previously lived in the area, or having immediate family there (usually a parent, brother or sister). 

Your terms of release, or any ASBO or injunction, may put restrictions on where you can live, so think about this when applying for assistance.

If you do not have a local connection with the Council you apply to, they may choose to refer you to another area where you do have a connection.

Help on release

If you have been (or are about to be) released from prison or youth detention accommodation, we might be able to give you extra support.

We’ll consider the impact your time in prison or detention has had on you. We’ll look at:

  • how long you were in prison and when you were released
  • any support you get from friends or family
  • if you’ve been able to find or keep accommodation since your release
  • your physical and mental health. 

We will:

  • work with the agencies involved in your support and supervision, for example probation, the youth offending service or drug and alcohol services
  • assess your housing needs
  • Set out a personal housing plan for you, that outlines what you - and we - must do to find suitable accommodation in either the private rented or social sector. 

Get help after you’re released from: 

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