Homelessness prevention and advice

This page provides a range of homelessness prevention advice and guidance to help you with your individual circumstances. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What to do if you're concerned about someone who is rough sleeping

If you are concerned about someone who is rough sleeping and medical attention is not immediately required, you can make a referral to StreetLink through their website or call 0300 500 0914 which is charged at normal call rate.  

You will need to provide:
  • ​a specific location of the rough sleeper to enable our outreach team to find them
  • the time the rough sleeper has been seen at the location
  • any information that will help identify them (gender, approximate age, what the person looks like, what they are wearing etc.).
Once your referral is received by StreetLink, they will alert Newham’s outreach team who will seek to find the rough sleeper and connect them to support services within 24hours. You will receive details of the action we have taken as a result of your alert within 10 working days if you have requested it. 

If the person needs urgent medical attention or you believe they are under 18 years of age please call 999.

Newham operates a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) to provide emergency accommodation to rough sleepers to prevent deaths on the streets caused by extreme weather conditions. 

The SWEP is activated when the Met Office predicts one night of temperatures below 0 degrees anywhere in London. 


Being under threat of homelessness

If you are under threat of homelessness there may be options you can explore before you need to find somewhere new to live.  

Knowing the reason you are being asked to leave your home is a good starting point, as this can help inform you of the opportunities to explore, for example:
  • If your landlord wants to increase your rent, you may be able to negotiate an amount you could reasonably afford to pay or if you claim Housing Benefit​ apply for discretionary housing payments to assist with any shortfall.  
  • If your landlord is selling their property, you can ask them if they would consider selling your home with you as a sitting tenant - many buyers in Newham are prospective landlords. 
  • If you are being asked to leave by friends or family – perhaps due to overcrowding or extra costs they incur by you living in their home - you should consider what compromises you might be able to make and try and negotiate with them.  


Accessing support from the Homelessness Prevention and Advice Service (HPAS)

The Homelessness Prevention and Advice Service (HPAS) may be able to support you with these negotiations.​

You can also use our toolkits and letter templates to help with a variety of situations - these advice tools are available on the right hand side of this page. 

If you choose to approach the HPAS for assistance we will undertake enquires into your and your household’s circumstances, such as, if you are eligible for support, the reason for the threat of homelessness, your address history, any support needs, your medical history, your financial situation and your housing needs.  

The help we can provide includes:
  • mediation between you and the person who has asked you to leave with the aim to keeping you in your home
  • advising you on your rights of occupation
  • referring you to someone who can give you work, debt and benefits advice
  • advising you on how to find somewhere else to live.
If staying in your current home is not an option then you need to be aware that rents in Newham are very high and ​broadening your search will give you more choice of available and affordable homes.
  • Using the 'better off calculator' will help you understand the financial benefits of changing your working hours and any impact it may have on benefits you may receive.
  • The council can support you into work or help finding you a new job - register with WorkPlace for more information.
  • You may be eligible for Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent.
  • If you rent privately, Local Housing Allowance (LHA) sets out the maximum amount of Housing Benefit you may be able to receive - to find out how much you may be able to receive use the 'entitled to' calculator which will give you an approximate guide.
  • You can access council and other social housing only via the housing register.
  • The useful websites on the right hand side of this page are popular home search engines you can use if you are looking for a new home. 

Homelessness Prevention eligibility checker and application for assistance

To access the HPAS service you will need to complete an application form and submit your documents online. If you require support to complete the application form please ask a friend or family for help or visit one of our libraries.  

Documentary evidence you will need

You will need the following information to hand so that you can upload the documentary evidence needed to complete the form.
  • Proof of your identity and the identities of everyone to be included as part of your household, such as birth certificates, passports, immigration documents.
  • Evidence that you are threatened with homelessness, such as a notice of seeking possession, possession order or bailiff’s warrant or confirmation in writing that you are being made homeless if friends or family are asking you to leave.
  • Your current tenancy agreement and any previous tenancy agreements you have for other homes you have previously lived in.
  • Proof of your previous addresses for the last five years and your partner’s addresses if relevant, such as medical cards, bank statements, utility bills etc.
  • Proof of your income and any savings or investments you have, such as wage slips, bank statements, benefit books, savings books, share certificates.
  • Evidence of any serious illness or disability that you or any member of your household have, such as letters from your GP, hospital consultant, details of any prescribed medication.
  • Evidence of any custodial sentence served. 
  • Evidence of any armed forces service history.


Further information

Back to top