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Homeless and housing options

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP)

The purpose of the severe weather emergency protocol (SWEP) is to provide humanitarian assistance to rough sleepers on occasions when the weather is considered to be severe. 


Most commonly SWEP will apply for prolonged periods of cold weather. 


Cold weather SWEP is triggered in Rossendale when the night time temperature in Bacup is predicted to be Zero degrees or below for a period of three consecutive nights or more, with the first night of SWEP being triggered on the first night of zero.

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 sooner.

This however does not apply to all rough sleepers as there are exceptions, this includes people who are considered to be too high risk such as violent or threatening violence, or on the advice of the police, mental health services or probation.


These cases will be recorded along with instances were emergency accommodation is refused.


Transport to other accommodation can be provided to a potentially safe place for instances where the potential rough sleeper is considered too high risk for accommodation locally.  

In all cases, advice and assistance will be offered by the Housing Options Team at the earliest opportunity, with the aim of facilitating a longer term outcome.


To access the SWEP provisions please contact Rossendale Borough Council’s Housing Options Team

Rossendale Borough Council

Housing Options Team

Futures Park



OL13 0BB


Tel: 01706 217777 Option 8          

Opening hours: Mon – Fri 9.00 am – 5.00 pm  

Out of Hours: 0300 222 5946