Homeless or at risk of losing your home
Our first priority is to prevent you from losing your home so the earlier you get in touch the more successful we're likely to be. We also have a host of information available on our website to assist you in either preventing your homelessness or assisting you if you are already homeless.
Our advice and assistance is free and confidential and we aim to contact you within 48 hours.
There are several different reasons why you may be threatened with homelessness. We have the following advice relating to the most common reasons below:
- Private Tenancy Ending
- Parents or relatives have asked you to leave
- Mortgage arrears
- Relationship Breakdown
In addition, any of our Sandwell Local Offices will be able to answer your questions about homelessness and finding a home but if they can't you may be referred to our specialist Housing Choice Team.
Remember - our advice is free and confidential and you do not have to be a Sandwell tenant to use our service.
You can contact the Housing Choice team on 0121 368 1166 - option 2
For more detailed information about how we work and what we can do to assist, see our following leaflets:
The way all local authorities respond to homelessness changed on 3 April 2018 due to the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act, this is one of the largest changes Housing Choice has faced and radically changes how we respond to homeless applications as there is a greater emphasis on prevention of homelessness and has several new duties. Find out more about how we are responding to this and how this will affect you.
Homeless in an emergency?
If you find yourself with nowhere to stay outside office hours or over the weekend please contact Housing Choice out of hours 0121 569 6883 (24 hour callback service). We can only give advice in emergencies - if you have somewhere safe to stay, even if this is temporary, please contact during office hours (Monday to Friday 8am - 5.30pm) on 0121 368 1166 - option 2.
If you are suffering domestic abuse follow the advice on this page.
How can we help?
We have lots of experience of dealing with and preventing homelessness such as:
- Mediation with family/friend excluder
- Accommodation within the private sector
- Money advice
- Negotiations with landlords/mortgage lenders
- Supported accommodation.
We will undertake the appropriate enquiries with you and you may be asked to attend an interview whereby you will be advised what actions we will take, what you will be expected to do and any relevant information required. See our Factsheet entitled ‘Know your housing’ which advises what we can do to help and your rights.
Preventing Homelessness and assisting you to remain in your current home
We will try to assist you to remain in your home wherever this is possible and appropriate. To enable us to do this it is important to contact us as soon as you think you may require assistance.
Advice for private tenants
We have a dedicated team who assist Private Landlords and Tenants. In addition please see below for further advice:
- Landlord ending a private tenancy under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988
- Landlord ending a private tenancy under Section 21 of the Housing Act
- Tenants’ Rights – Rights of Occupation – Advice and what to do if you are receiving harassment or threats of illegal eviction can be found at Shelter and Gov.uk
- Protecting and Retrieving rent deposits - Advice and what to do if you are receiving harassment or threats of illegal eviction can be found at Shelter and Gov.uk
Parents or relatives have asked you to leave
We work with St Basils with young people aged 16-25 who have been asked to leave or threatened with homelessness. We also provide advice and assistance to anyone who has been asked to leave by parents or relatives regardless of age. For more information please see our Parents or Friends have asked you to leave factsheet.
If you are struggling to pay your mortgage the earlier you act the better. We have a dedicated Money Advisor from Citizens Advice who can assist and leaflets with additional advice.
If you are threatened with homelessness due to a relationship breakdown there are several options to consider. More information can be found in our leaflet Homeless due to relationship breakdown.
If you are experiencing Domestic Abuse we have several options to consider.
General Advice to assist you to remain in your home
- If you are experiencing problems in your home due to needing adaptations you can find further advice here.
- If you own your own property and it is need of repair / improvement we may be able to assist.
- Rights to benefits – assistance in making a claim.
- Discretionary Housing Payments.
Debt and money advice
Additional information, advice and legal help in relation to money including negotiating with creditors, rescheduling debt, benefit or income maximisation, applications for administration orders, mortgage arrears, tax debts, and utilities bills can be accessed via:-
- National Debt line or call 0808 808 4000
- Debt Advice Foundation a national debt education and advice charity
- Debt Advice Forum where you can post anonymous queries and get advice from debt experts, as well as view responses to other people's queries
- Step Change debt advice charity
- Citizens Advice
Looking to secure alternative accommodation?
It is always easier moving on a planned basis wherever possible and we can assist you in looking for alternative accommodation through many sources, either within the Private Sector, assistance in buying your own home or accessing social housing.
- Supported Accommodation
- Extra Care Housing may be appropriate if you are aged 50+ and need a support, this can be accessed through Sandwell Assist who can be contacted on 0121 569 2266.
- Low cost home ownership or shared ownership options
- Sandwell Council’s Choice Based Lettings Scheme
Homeless and other needs:
If you have other issues and are also threatened with homelessness further advice can be found in the following factsheets:-
- Suffering a mental illness or impairment
- Released from prison or youth detention accommodation
- Leaving care
- Leaving hospital
- Leaving Armed Forces