Advice and support for homelessness

COVID-19 government protection

The government has recently announced temporary increased protections for those in both social and private tenancies through the Coronavirus Act 2020 which:

Notice periods

As of 27 March 2020, and until 30 September 2020, any notices served (section 21 or Notice to Quit) periods are extended from two to three months for private sector tenancies (assured shorthold tenancies), housing association and council tenancies. For a full list of tenancies this covers this please refer to the government guidance for landlords and tenants. This does not apply if you have a licence because you are lodging, in a hostel or temporary accommodation.  

Court proceedings

All court proceedings for eviction have been suspended for 90 days from 27 March 2020. This means if you were served a notice before 26 March 2020, your landlord can't apply for court proceedings during this period and any court hearing is likely to be postponed.  

Support package for work

The government has promised an increased package to support employees to remain at work, including supporting employers by paying 80% of wages up to £2500 monthly if furloughed and increasing the thresholds for those who need to claim Universal Credit.

The government has promised an increased package to support self-employed people. This is by paying up to 80% of earnings up to £2500 monthly. The payments can be expected in June 2020.

Advice and support for vulnerable people at risk of homelessness

Visit GOV.UK for policy factsheets on the Homelessness Reduction Act (link opens in new window).

Services for homeless people

National homelessness organisation, Homeless Link (link opens in new window), provides a wealth of information for people who are facing homelessness, including a directory of accommodation and support services.

Local organisations that can help

Leighton-Linslade Homeless Service, The Black Horse - Night Shelter, 21 North Street, Leighton Buzzard LU7 1EQ

Telephone: 07842 122429 or 01525 381129

The Black Horse, Night Shelter is open 5:30pm to 8am on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. On a Wednesday the Night Shelter opens later at 7:30pm. Evening meals are provided 6.30pm to 8:30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Trinity Methodist Church, North Street, Leighton Buzzard provide an evening meal on a Wednesday.

Service users may access the provision direct through a self-referral.

Assessment Hubs

Central Milton Keynes and Bletchley: hosted by Open Door MK

Mondays: 11am to 2pm and Fridays: 10:30am to 1pm at Salvation Army, Ramsons Ave , Conniburrow, Milton Keynes, MK14 7BA

Wednesdays: 11am to 2pm at Queensway Methodist Church Hall, Queensway, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK2 2HB

Bedford Borough: hosted by SMART

Tuesdays and Thursdays: 2pm to 5pm

These are held at SMART Prebend Centre, Prebend Street, Bedford, MK40 1QW

Luton: Hosted by Signposts Luton

Mondays: midday to 4pm and Fridays: 10am to 2pm at 106 Old Bedford Road, Luton, LU2 7TD

Central Bedfordshire

The assessment hub will be in a new outreach van - coming soon.

Referrals for this project can be made by individuals or agencies, such as healthcare providers, members of the public or statutory services.

Amicus Trust

Amicus Trust, 31 Prebend Street Bedford , MK40 1QN

Contact Amicus Trust for assistance with supported accommodation or for assistance from the Night Owl Bus. The Night Owl Shelter is a well-equipped bus with reclining seats that provides overnight accommodation and support for people in immediate crisis.

Telephone: 01234 358478

Email: info@amicustrust.org

Or visit the Amicus Trust Night Shelter's website (link opens in new window) for more information.

Severe cold weather arrangements in Central Bedfordshire for people sleeping rough

Our Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) is instigated when the temperature is forecast to drop to zero degrees (or below) for three consecutive nights.

Notification of services being available is sent to a range of organisations which provide services for people sleeping rough. SWEP provision is for those without accommodation and services are not extended to those who have accommodation available to them.