If you’re homeless or about to lose your home, we can help you to stay in your home, or find somewhere else to live.
To help us do this you need to be
- eligible for help
- homeless or likely to lose your home within 56 days
We will also look to see if you have a connection with this area.
How to get help from the council
In order for the Council to assist you, please fill out the Housing Advice form prior to visiting the council, unless your situation is urgent, for example if you have suffered violence or abuse at home.
For those situations we recommend that you first contact us on 0208 547 5003 and ask to speak to a Housing Options Officer.
Please make sure you fill out the form in one sitting as you will not be able to save your information and fill out the form later.
Once you have filled out the form, a Housing Options Officer will be in touch with you to discuss your situation and offer an appointment for a more detailed assessment if this is required.
You can also get advice about help for homeless people on the Shelter website.
What happens at your appointment
At the appointment, your officer will discuss with you your situation and suitable options. We will assess your situation and if satisfied that you are eligible and homeless, or that you have been asked to leave within 56 days, we will start to develop a Personal Housing Plan. We will tell you whether you are owed a Prevention or Relief duty.
This Plan will outline what we will do in order to prevent or secure another property for you to live in. When putting this plan together you will be involved with developing the plan, balancing what your personal circumstances and choices are with the reality of the housing options available to you.
We will also consider whether you meet the criteria for emergency accommodation. In this situation we will need to have reason to believe that you are or someone in your household is in priority need.
If you met this additional criteria and have a local connection to the area, you will still have a Personal Housing Plan to help you secure other accommodation, but you will be offered emergency accommodation which could be a bed and breakfast or a place in a Council Hostel. If we refer your case, your accommodation will remain available for your use until the other authority accepts your referral.
If you do not qualify for emergency accommodation we will refer you onto other agencies who may be able to assist you, but you still retain the right to your Personal Housing Plan.
What happens next
The Personal Housing Plan will be reviewed to see what progress has been made in securing alternative accommodation. If after 56 days or 112 days (if you have been subject to both Prevention and Relief) duties, you will be given a decision on your case.
During those Prevention and Relief duties, we also consider whether you meet the criteria for a main housing duty to be owed. To qualify you must:
- Be eligible for help
- be homeless of likely to lose your home within 56 days
- you are or someone in your household is in priority need
- you haven't made yourself homeless intentionally
We will also consider your local connection again and may refer you to another area if there is no connection to this area.
If you are entitled to help, we will update your entry on the Housing Register. Homeless households are placed into Band 3 and automatic bids will be placed on your behalf for any suitable properties that become available.
You will then remain in temporary accommodation until your homelessness is prevented unless you breach the terms of the temporary accommodation agreement, for example by not paying your rent. In those situations, your duty will be ended and accommodation withdrawn.
It is also important to note that throughout the process you may be offered suitable private sector accommodation to resolve your homelessness and even if a main duty is owed, you could receive an offer as a way of resolving your homelessness. If we make such an offer when a main duty is owed, this will bring an end to the duty to provide you with housing, whether you accept the offer or not.