Accommodation and housing advice

If you're at risk of becoming homeless, or you're sofa surfing or staying with friends, it can feel like a hopeless situation, but there's lots of help available.

From your local council to charities, there's plenty of places you can go for advice and support with finding a safe, secure home.

If you are at risk of becoming homeless or relying on friends and family for a place to stay, it can be stressful. It can be tiring if you're worrying, moving all the time and sleeping on floors and sofas. It's natural to feel hopeless, like there's no way out.

Be open and act fast

It's really important to remember that there's help out there and that there's nothing to feel ashamed about.

When people lose their homes there's usually something difficult going on in their life that they need support with. Maybe you're struggling with money, a relationship breakdown, your mental health, or a drug or alcohol problem. If you can try to be open about your situation it will help others to help you. 

The other important thing is to act fast. If you think you might lose your home it's a good idea to reach out for help right away - you might still be able to stay in your home.

Speak to your local council housing office

The most important thing to do is to speak to the housing office at your local council. They can offer a lot more help than you might think. 

They'll do an assessment to work out the best steps to take to help you. Whether you're a private tenant or a council tenant, they can help sort out issues with rent and arrange payment plans if you're behind on payments (in arrears). If your home is in a bad state of repair, they might be able to help with a grant to pay for the improvements you need to stay there. If you're homeless they can help you with finding emergency housing. 

Find the website for your local council

Other sources of support

There are lots of charities that will be able to offer you support and advice.

  • Citizen's Advice: Citizen's Advice can help with understanding your rights, knowing the right way to deal with your landlord, and how to get help from the council. They can also give advice on money matters. Find your local branch or call the helpline on 03444 111 444.
  • Shelter: Shelter can give you advice on homelessness, eviction, renting, repossessions and more. Find your local service or call the helpline on 0808 800 4444.
  • Local charities and community groups: try searching for local services and community groups in your area. They might run drop-in sessions where you can get advice, or be able to tell you about hostels and emergency accommodation in your area.