Homelessness advice and support

There are options that may be available to you to help you find your own accommodation if you are being made homeless.

Stratford Customer Service Centre has now closed. You must visit East Ham Customer Service Centre and Library for advice.
A man with his head in his hands while a woman and child look on

What you should do first

If your landlord is trying to evict you or you are being asked to leave by friends and family, you should first try to negotiate with them.

If possible, it is better to stay where you are and apply to join the housing register.

Anyone who applies to go on the housing register will first be directed to Housing and Employment Destination (HED) – an online tool that helps you to look at all your housing options. You should consider all your options as some may be better and quicker for you.

If you are not able to do this, you should try to find your own privately rented home.

Finding your own privately rented home

You need to be realistic about what to expect. In some areas of the country it is easy to find affordable accommodation of all types to rent, but in London and the south east there may be very little available within your price range.
If you are affected by the Benefit Cap and cannot afford to rent in London, you may have no choice but to look for accommodation in areas outside London where it is often more affordable.

Help with paying the rent

If you are on a low income or get benefits and can’t meet the cost of your rent, you may be able to get help by claiming Housing Benefit.

If you are receiving Housing Benefit, but are finding it hard to cover all your housing costs, you may be eligible for Discretionary Housing Payments.

If you have explored all your options and are still in need of additional financial support, you may also consider applying for a loan from the council through the Newham Community and Crisis Support scheme.


If you can't find somewhere to live and need more advice

If you can't find somewhere to live and you need more advice and help, you must first visit the East Ham Customer Service Centre and Library.
We may be able to:
  • advise you on how to get somewhere else to live that is in your budget and suits your needs
  • help you to solve any problems with your landlord or the person you live with by mediating between you so that you can stay in your home
  • advise you on your rights of occupation
  • give you debt and benefits advice
  • offer you somewhere to live in the private sector if no other housing option is available to you.

What should I bring with me?

When you visit the East Ham Customer Service Centre and Library you should bring the following documents with you:
  • proof of your identity and the identities of everyone to be included as part of your household, such as birth certificates, passports, immigration documents
  • proof of your income and any savings or investments you have, such as wage slips, bank statements, benefit books, savings books, share certificates
  • your current tenancy agreement and any previous tenancy agreements you have for other homes you have previously lived in
  • evidence that you are threatened with homelessness, such as a notice seeking possession, claim for possession, possession order or bailiffs' warrant
  • confirmation in writing that you are being made homeless if friends or family are asking you to leave
  • proof of your previous addresses for the last five years, such as medical cards, bank statements, post marked envelopes
  • 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.

What we do with your information

We will need your permission to allow us to make enquiries into your application. These enquiries may include contacting other public and private organisations such as: 
  • welfare benefits agencies
  • social services and social welfare organisations
  • health services
  • other councils
  • employers
  • your current and previous landlords
  • the police.
If you do not allow us to do these checks we may not be able to help you.
We will ask you to sign a declaration on the application form, which states that the information you have provided is correct and you have will not withheld any relevant information, or mislead us in any way.

If the East Ham Customer Service Centre is closed when you become homeless you should call us on 020 8430 2000:
  • weekdays after 5.30pm
  • weekends and bank holidays at any time.
If we find somewhere for you to live over the phone when the office is closed, you must visit the East Ham Customer Service Centre and Library the following working day.
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