Homelessness advice and support

Service information

Rough sleepers

If you’ve seen someone sleeping rough in your local area please contact us via email or telephone with a description and their location. Alternatively you can contact Streetlink. Please note that if this contact is made via email or through Streetlink then we will not be able to respond until the next working day.

If someone is unwell or distressed please don’t put yourself in danger or approach someone acting strangely, even to help. Call 101 or 999 in an emergency

Severe weather emergency protocol (SWEP)

Although there is no legal requirement to operate the SWEP the Council believes that it has a humanitarian responsibility to do so.

The trigger for SWEP is when the night time temperature is predicted to be zero degrees or below for three consecutive nights however the SWEP provisions are available throughout the year.

Rough sleepers will be placed in temporary accommodation for the period of the severe weather or until they have found suitable alternative accommodation, whichever is the sooner.

This does not apply to all rough sleepers as there are exceptions, if someone is considered too high risk to place for example, on the advice of police, probation or mental health services or when an individual is aggressive, violent or threatening violence.

When a person refuses emergency accommodation this will also be recorded.

In all cases, advice and assistance will be offered, with the aim of facilitating a longer term outcome.

To access these provisions please contact Housing Needs outside of office hours on Tel. 585444 or 07739454978.

Housing/homelessness advice

If you need advice because you have nowhere to live or are at risk of being made homeless please contact us by using the online enquiry form via a computer or a smartphone.

If you already have an open case with a housing needs officer please do not complete the online enquiry again, please contact them directly by email or on 01254 585444.

The online enquiry form will ask a number of questions about you, your household and your circumstances. Please answer all the questions and make sure that you include a contact number and/or an email address so that we can contact you.

Once the enquiry has been submitted it will be reviewed and we will contact you within 5 working days to discuss your housing circumstances. We will also give you the option of completing a telephone assessment or seeing them in person to complete this assessment.

If you are currently homeless and have no accommodation tonight please complete the online enquiry form and then contact the us on 01254 585444 and select option 1.

Please note that if you contact our team without first completing the online enquiry form you will be directed to complete this before you will be able to speak with a housing needs officer.

The assessment we complete with you asks a number of questions about your circumstances, your households support needs and your wishes. This assessment may last up to an hour and 30 minutes dependent on the information needed.

We will discuss the steps we will take and you will take to help you in preventing you from becoming homeless or relieving your homelessness. These steps will form your personal housing plan. To access and update your personal housing plan you will need internet access and an email address.

There are a number of services that can help you to stay in your current home, including help with tenancy matters, housing benefit/universal credit issues or relationship breakdown.

If staying in your current home isn’t an option we can help you take steps to look for a new home.

Remember: if you think you are at risk of losing your home, you should seek advice immediately. Early action can prevent your becoming homeless.

Help using a computer or the internet

If you have difficulty in using a computer and/or accessing or using the internet help is available at the following locations:  

  • Blackburn Library 01254 661221            
  • Darwen Library 01254 706021
  • Audley Neighbourhood Learning Centre 01254 507720
  • Bank Top Community Centre 01254 581175
  • Livesey Library 01254 209442
  • Mill Hill Library 01254 266380
  • Roman Road Library 01254 682347
  • Darwen Resource Centre 01254 226360

Drop in sessions and bookable IT courses from beginner level are available.  Please ring one of the centres for further details.

Duty to refer

From the 1st October 2018 public bodies have a duty to refer service users who they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to the local authority. Further information about the duty to refer.

If you are looking to refer someone to Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council for advice/assistance with housing please complete the referral form and email any supporting information and/or documents to dutytorefer@blackburn.gov.uk

The referral form asks a number of questions regarding a person’s circumstances and will take approx. 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

If you require any advice on the referral process please contact the Housing Needs Team either be email: dutytorefer@blackburn.gov.uk or on Tel. 01254 585444

Phone menu options

When contacting us by phone please ensure that you select the right option from the menu. These are:

  1. If you are currently homeless or are going to be homeless today
  2. If you have a named housing needs officer that is assisting you
  3. Pay your service charge
  4. Details of the private rented list
  5. Local community care grant
  6. Housing benefit, Council Tax or discretionary housing payment (DHP) enquiry

​​For all other enquiries please hold the line.

Contact details

Mail Housing Needs Section, Town Hall, King William Street, Blackburn. BB1 7DY
Phone Number(s) 01254 585444
Fax Number(s)  
E-mail housingneeds@blackburn.gov.uk
Extra Information
Duty to refer email: dutytorefer@blackburn.gov.uk

Duty to refer: Referral form: https://hpa2.org/refer/BLKDARW
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