Homelessness Prevention and Advice Service (HPAS)
The help we can provide includes:
- Mediation between you and the person who has asked you to leave with the aim of 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
- Request Discretionary Housing Payments to provide short-term support to maintain your current tenancy
- Advising you on how to find somewhere else to live.
To access the Homeless Prevention and Advice Service (HPAS) you will need to complete an application form and submit your documents online.
Check if you are eligible for help from HPAS and make an application.
Discretionary Housing Payments
If your rent is not met in full by housing benefit or universal credit and you have a temporary situation which makes it difficult to pay your rent, you can apply for extra help in the form of discretionary housing payments (DHPs).
To qualify for a payment you must be receiving housing benefit or the housing costs element of universal credit, and you will need to satisfy us that there are very good reasons for an award.
We only have a limited amount of money each year to help residents with DHPs, so we need to ensure that DHPs are awarded to people who need them most.
If you are seeking a DHP please make this clear in your HPAS application. On the section titled ‘current address information’ there is a question “Briefly state why you are faced with homelessness?”, Please include “DHP” in this response alongside any other relevant issues. This will ensure your request is fast-tracked to a DHP specialist officer.
Not everyone who applies can be given an award, so the more you tell us about your circumstances the better your chances are of getting an award.
You can read our DHP policy (PDF)
You can find our DHP policy appendix (PDF)
Things that we take into account are:
- A non-dependant deduction
- If your benefit has been reduced due to the benefit cap
- You are a council tenant or a housing association tenant who is affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ and have exceptional circumstances
- You are a private tenant and we think your rent is too high
- Your income means you do not get full benefit.
You can use our toolkits and letter templates to help with a range of situations.
- 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.
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.
For more information on specific circumstances, please have a look at the PDFs below:
Suffering a mental illness or impairment and homelessness (PDF)
Options and facilities for older people (PDF)
Homelessness after leaving hospital (PDF)
Homeless when released from prison (PDF)
Help and housing for care leavers (PDF)
Ex-armed forces and homelessness advice (PDF)