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Worried about becoming homeless

Our priority is to help you avoid becoming homeless. We can do this by negotiating with the people you live with or your landlord, giving you advice, or by helping you find another home quickly.

 

Our priority is to help you avoid becoming homeless. We can do this by negotiating with the people you live with or your landlord, giving you advice, or by helping you find another home quickly.

People threatened with homelessness often leave it to the last minute before contacting us. Don't postpone, talk to the Housing Aid Team today if you might become homeless. The sooner you contact us the more likely we will be able to help you and prevent you becoming homeless. Call us on 020 7527 2000 or email us.

We have made some changes to our services in line with Covid-19 government guidance to keep you and our staff safe. You are important to Islington Council and we aim to provide you with the best possible service.  

Applying for housing or homelessness assistance

Where possible, applications and approaches will be received online or by telephone. In-person services will only be provided when absolutely necessary, providing there is a safe way of doing it.  

Self-isolation 

At every stage of the process we will ask whether you and your household are self-isolating or have any symptoms of Covid-19. If the answer is yes, the process will be paused until the end of your two week isolation period. You must tell us if you are self-isolating, don’t worry about delaying an in person interview or losing the property you have been matched to for this reason. We will wait until we can safely continue when your isolation period has ended.

Properties

Please be aware our properties are taking longer than usual to be ready for new customers to move into at present. We will contact you directly when the keys are ready. Thank you for your patience.

How we can help:

If you are eligible and homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days, we will create a Personal Housing Plan to help you find a place to live and address any other issues that are affecting your housing

  • If you are a private tenant or leaseholder we can provide free, confidential and impartial advice about your tenancy including illegal eviction and harassment
  • If you are living with relatives or friends, we will mediate on your behalf to try and keep you in your home
  • We can help you claim housing benefit to clear your rent arrears and prevent your eviction
  • We can provide information about low cost home ownership
  • We can provide information about accessing hostels and private rented accommodation
  • We can see if you are eligible for a grant to reduce or clear rent arrears or to use as a deposit for a private rented home
  • We can arrange support to keep you in your tenancy
  • If you are experiencing domestic violence we can explain what housing options are available to you

The council will not be able to provide accommodation for most people who are homeless. If you do not fall into one of the categories of people the council has a legal duty to house, you will need to find accommodation for yourself.

Shelter’s guide on housing rights helps you work out if you’re eligible for assistance and what you’re entitled to.

Advice about evictions and the ending of a tenancy

If you are renting your home, your landlord may decide to end your tenancy or ‘evict’ you. It is important to know that there are different types of tenancies, such as:

  • Assured Shorthold tenancies (AST)
  • Excluded tenancies or licences
  • Assured tenancies
  • Regulated tenancies
  • Fixed term and periodic agreements

What type of tenancy do I have? 

Your renting agreement with your landlord is either a tenancy or a licence. The main difference between a tenancy and a licence is that a tenancy usually gives you more protection from eviction.  You do not have a licence or a tenancy just because the landlord says that's what you have. It depends on your housing situation. Most people have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. If you are unsure what type of tenancy you have, visit the Tenancy Rights Checker on Shelter's website so that you can check this. 

Further advice

Please check our advice for people renting privately on Islington Council’s website. We have provided lots of advice and guidance on how to get help or resolve a particular issue to do with the ending of the tenancy. 

For social tenants, who live in council or housing association properties, such as Islington Council tenants, the reason for the ending of the tenancy and eviction can vary. If you are concerned about being evicted, please contact your tenancy officer by email or call 020 7527 5300.

Citizens Advice Islington provides independent advice to Islington residents. If you would like to access the service, please visit the Citizens Advice website.

Shelter is also an excellent resource for help and advice for all types of tenancies and provides detailed advice on evictions. Please visit the Shelter website.

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000. 

Advice and help for young people

The council can offer you advice if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness. You can make a homelessness application to receive further advice and information about your housing issue. Contact us to do this. 

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 

As of April 2018, The Homelessness Reduction Act changed the homelessness duties for Islington Council to help all eligible applicants – rather than just those with a ‘priority need’. 

It also adds two new duties: 

  • Duty to prevent homelessness: Islington Council has to help people at risk of losing suitable accommodation as soon as they are threatened with homelessness within 56 days. This means that we will try to prevent your homelessness by helping you to remain in your current accommodation, if that is possible. 
  • Duty to take steps to relieve homelessness: We will help all those who are homeless to secure suitable accommodation, regardless of whether they are ‘intentionally homeless’ or have a priority need. This means that all eligible households will be offered help to find alternative accommodation for themselves. 

Will the Council provide me with accommodation?

We can provide advice and support to you to help you find alternative accommodation. However we will not have a duty to provide emergency accommodation or temporarily house you unless you are considered to be eligible, homeless and have priority need. For more information on the homelessness criteria please visit Shelter's website or call 080 8800 4444. You can also discuss this with the council when making a homelessness application.

If you are under 18, we have a legal duty to support you. This will be through children’s social services and you could be supported through family mediation if you are at home or you could be accommodated in children’s homes, foster care or hostels. 

When you approach Islington Council to ask for housing assistance, we will arrange a joint meeting between Childrens Social Services, Housing Needs and yourself so that we can carry out a joint assessment of your needs. 

Where else can I get housing support? 

There are a number of young people specific services you can receive assistance from. These are:

  • New Horizon Youth Centre is a vital support network for 16-21 year old's who have no one else to turn to. They provide everything from hot food, showers and laundry to finding accommodation, training and employment. They offer counselling, drug and alcohol support, health, fitness, art, music and communication skills workshops - everything you need to create a positive future. The service can be contacted on 020 7388 5560 or by email
  • Centrepoint is a charity supporting homeless people aged 16-25. If you're rough sleeping, sofa surfing or don't feel safe in your home, the Centrepoint Helpline is there to support you. You can also get in touch if you're worried about a young person. The free service can be contacted on 0808 800 0661 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).
  • Stonewall Housing is a specialist lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) housing advice and support provider in England. They provide housing support for LGBT people in their own homes, supported housing for young LGBT people, as well as free, confidential housing advice for LGBT people of all ages. The free service can be contacted on 020 7359 5767 (Monday-Friday 10am-1pm)  or by email
  • The Mix is the UK’s leading support service for young people under the age of 25. They tackle issues from money to mental health, homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs. There are many ways to contact The Mix, through webchat, group chat, one to one chat, web/telephone counselling, and email and through the helpline. For more information call the free helpline on 080 8808 4884 which is available from 3pm to 12am every day.
  • Depaul- Alone in London is one of the UK’s largest youth homelessness charities supporting those who have been homeless or are at risk of homelessness. You can be referred to Depaul-Alone in London or call to make an appointment. 020 7278 4224, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. 
    They can help with:
    • Providing information about hostels and other types of suitable housing
    • Referring to hostels and shared accommodation
    • Helping you complete forms
    • Helping you to claim benefit entitlements
    • Speaking to other agencies on your behalf

Financial support 

Universal Credit is being introduced across the UK in stages. It will replace the following benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit 
  • Housing Benefit 
  • Income Support 
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) 
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit 

Housing Benefit 

If you are under 35 years of age, single and do not have children then you are usually only entitled to benefits which would cover renting in a shared accommodation. The maximum housing benefit that you would get would be the rate for renting a single room in a shared house and this rate would be given to you even if you live in a self-contained flat. Shared accommodation is when your tenancy agreement states that you have access to one bedroom only and shared use of a bathroom, kitchen and living room. The shared accommodation rate differs depending on where you live. You can check the shared accommodation rate in your area by going to the DirectGov website.

Please note that the shared accommodation rate only applies when renting from a private landlord (so doesn’t apply to council or housing association properties). 

The shared accommodation rate doesn't apply if you live with another adult or child. There are also other exceptions if you: 

  • Have a history of care and are aged under 22
  • Are a registered foster carer
  • If you receive a severe disability premium or someone receives this for you
  • Are someone who has a proven need for overnight care and has a spare bedroom that a non-resident carer regularly stays overnight in
  • If you are aged over 25 and have spent at least three months in a homeless hostel or hostel specialising in rehabilitating and resettling within the community
  • Are a former prisoner and are managed under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)

If you are a part-time or full-time student, you can get Housing Benefit if you receive income support or income-based JSA or you are a lone parent or a member of a couple who are responsible for a child and are both full-time students. For more information visit the Housing Benefit website. To apply for Housing Benefit you have to go to your local council website.

I’m studying/in education 

Job seekers allowance (JSA) 

Full time students: 
If you’re studying for your A level or an equivalent qualification you can’t usually get JSA until you have stopped studying and your parents have stopped getting Child Benefit for you. Child Benefit payments stop after the last day of February, May, August or November (whichever comes first). 

If you’re studying for a degree-level qualification and you have children, you may be able to claim JSA during the summer holiday. 

Part-time students: 
You may be able to get JSA while studying part-time (including part-time Open University Courses) as long as:

  • you take a job if it’s offered to you 
  • you do everything you can to look for work, as agreed with your work coach 

Income support

Most part-time and full-time students are not entitled to Income Support. However, you may be entitled to this benefit if you are:

  • a lone parent with a child under five
  • a lone foster parent of a child under 16
  • receiving long-term Incapacity Benefit
  • a refugee who is learning English to obtain employment or under 21 or have reached 21 whilst enrolled on or accepted on a full-time non advanced course and you are without parental support. 

You can claim income support during the summer holidays if you are a single parent with a child or a member of a couple with a child (and your partner is a full-time student). This would depend on whether you have a low income. 

Other benefits: 

  • If you are responsible for a child, as a part-time or full-time student you can still claim Child Benefit
  • If you are responsible for children as a lone parent or as a member of a couple, you may get Child Tax Credit
  • If you or your partner are working and have a fairly low income, you may get Working Tax Credit
  • You may be able to get Universal Credit if you’re on a part-time course that is accepted as being compatible with your work-related requirements if you are subject to these

University Hardship Funds 

If you are experiencing financial hardship, you may be able to get financial support from your university or college. It is under the discretion of the university whether you will receive support. Your university or college may also be able to advise you on bursaries, grants, benefits and debt. You can get more information by contacting your student welfare/liaison department. For additional advice on student finance please visit: 

  • Turn2Us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face through our partner organisations
  • The government’s website on student finance
  • Citizens Advice Islington who can support on a range of issues related to benefits, debt, housing, employment, family etc.

External support 

The Prince's Trust works with disadvantaged young people aged 11-30. They provide training, personal development opportunities and grants to help young people to get into work, education, self-employment or training. For more information, please call 080 0842 842 (Freephone). The service is open from 9am-6pm, Monday to Friday.

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 0207 527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 0207 527 2000. 

Advice and help if you are a Gypsy or Traveller and homeless

You can receive help to find somewhere to live if you’re a Gypsy or Traveller and you are homeless. You could be homeless for a number of reasons: 

  • facing eviction from your pitch, encampment or tenancy
  • have nowhere to legally park your mobile home
  • need to leave your home due to violence

Help from the Council 

You can apply to any council for help if you're homeless or at risk of losing your home or pitch within 56 days. If you approach Islington Council seeking housing assistance, the Housing Needs and Strategy service must carry out an assessment of your housing needs. The housing officer allocated to your case will then draw up a personal housing plan that sets out the steps you and the council must take to help you keep your home or pitch. If this isn't possible, your housing officer will outline the ways you and the council can find you somewhere suitable for you to live. 

Emergency accommodation 

Islington Council must arrange emergency accommodation if it thinks you might be homeless, in priority need and meet immigration and residence conditions. Islington Council must provide accommodation for you and anyone who usually lives with you as a member of your family. 

What you can be offered 

If you qualify for emergency or longer-term housing, Islington Council must try to find you a suitable pitch or accommodation within the area. If there is nothing available locally Islington Council could place you elsewhere. 

Many Gypsies and Travellers want somewhere they can park up and live legally. Islington Council must consider your cultural needs and lifestyle when deciding what is suitable. If a suitable pitch is not available, Islington Council will probably offer you 'bricks and mortar' accommodation. In the short-term this could be a bed & breakfast or homeless hostel. In the longer-term it could be a self-contained flat or house. 

If accommodation is unsuitable 

You can only challenge the suitability of emergency accommodation in court with the help of a solicitor. It would have to be very unsuitable for a legal challenge to succeed. You can ask for a review of the suitability of longer-term housing within 21 days of receiving an offer from Islington Council. You should accept the offer and then ask for a review as you may not get another offer if your review is unsuccessful. 

Still need help? 

The following organisations provide specialist advice to Gypsies and Travellers:

  • The Community Law Partnership is a firm of solicitors specialising in the law relating to Housing and Public Law. CLP incorporates the Travellers Advice Team (TAT) a ground-breaking nationwide advice service for Gypsies and Travellers which is available on 0121 685 8677 between 9.00 am and 1.00pm Monday to Friday
  • Friends, Families and Travellers are a national charity that works on behalf of all Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities regardless of ethnicity, culture or background. The service can be contacted on 01273 234 777 or by email

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000. 

Advice and help if you are homeless and pregnant

If you’re having a baby and are homeless, you can apply to Islington Council for help with housing if you’re homeless or facing homelessness within 56 days. 

If you're under 18 

The Housing Needs and Strategy Service will usually refer you to children/social services. They should provide you with support and a place to live. 

Advice and support 

Islington Council must carry out an assessment of your housing needs. This will include looking at what accommodation you can afford and any support you might need. Your housing officer will then draw up a personal housing plan that sets out the steps you and Islington Council must take to help you keep your home or find somewhere else to live. 

Emergency housing from the council 

If you’re pregnant and homeless, you will qualify for emergency housing from the council as long as you meet immigration and residence conditions. You may need proof of your pregnancy from a doctor or other health professional. Islington Council should find you emergency housing while it looks into your application. 

Help with housing costs 

If you get universal credit you can get help with housing costs as part of your universal credit award. 
You may also be able to get the following help: 

  • discretionary housing payments 
  • a grant or loan from a local welfare scheme 

Leaving your home because of domestic abuse 

You can contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 if you are experiencing domestic abuse. You can talk confidentially to someone about your situation and to find out what your options are.

Solace provides free and confidential support for women and men in Islington affected by abuse. They can be contacted on 0808 802 5565 / 0203 795 5070 or by email.

Please call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 if you feel in despair and want someone to listen to you and provide emotional support.

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000. 

 

Advice for ex armed forces who are experiencing or threatened with homelessness

If you’re leaving the armed services, or you are a former member, you may be entitled to extra help if you become homeless.

Homelessness rights for ex-forces 

You may qualify for help from Islington Council if you are a former member of the armed forces and are homeless or threatened with homelessness. In addition, you will have to prove to the council that you are eligible for housing assistance, and have not made yourself intentionally homeless. Subject to you satisfying the above criteria, Islington Council will help you with both emergency and longer-term accommodation if it is accepted that you are homeless and in priority need with regard to needing accommodation. Islington Council must consider if it can help you using both general rules that apply to everyone and special rules that apply to people who were in the forces. 

General rules for people in priority need

It can be easier to get help if you qualify under the general rules for people in priority need, for example if you have dependent children or are pregnant. The council will also look to see if you are vulnerable in some way. This may involve showing how a disability, mental health need, addiction or other issue effects your ability to secure housing for yourself compared with other people who are rendered homeless. 

Extra homelessness rules for the armed forces

You should also be treated as being vulnerable and therefore in priority need for accommodation if you can show that your vulnerability is as a result of being a former member of the armed forces. 

When deciding this, Islington Council may consider:

  • how long you were in the forces and what role you had
  • if you spent any time in a military hospital
  • if you were released from service on medical grounds (and have a Medical History Release Form)
  • if you have had accommodation since leaving service and if you have been able to obtain or maintain accommodation since you left
  • how long it has been since you left service

To help support your case, you may need to provide medical evidence from the Ministry of Defence (MOD), including a Medical History Release Form (if you were given one). 

You may need to seek independent legal advice or help from a specialist agency to make representations on your behalf if the council decides that you do not meet the criteria set out above, and therefore does not owe a duty to you to provide you with accommodation. Re-housing in the area of your base and to be accepted as homeless in the local council area where you were based, you must be able to show that you have a local connection with the local council where your base was situated. 

You may be able to show a local connection with that area if you:

  • currently work in the area
  • have lived in the area for six out of the last 12 months or three out of the last five years
  • live with a partner who currently works in the area

If you have left the forces and are not yet working for another employer in the area, you won't be able to show a local connection through working in the area. However, you may still be able to show that you have a local connection as the time you spent living or working in the area may still count. You should also consider if you are able to show a local connection with this or another local council area where you have close family connections. 

You do not need to have a local connection to apply to go on Islington Council’s housing register if you are serving in the armed forces or left in the last five years. 

Applying as homeless before discharge from the forces 

Please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service if you think you will be homeless after discharge from the services. Islington Council should not wait until you are made homeless before it helps you. Upon the production of a letter of discharge or some other evidence that confirms the date of your discharge from the Armed Forces, Islington Council should accept that from the date of discharge you will become homeless. In the event that you have not sought any housing assistance from this council prior to your discharge from the Forces you may need to stay in your accommodation as long as possible and wait for Defence Estates to evict you. Defence Estates have to give you a Notice to Vacate before they can take you to court in order that they can obtain a possession order. You can use any Notice to Vacate and any possession order that is obtained against you as evidence in support of your homelessness application. 

Ex-forces and single, homeless and on the streets 

Many single homeless people don't qualify for help from Islington Council or any other local authority. There are a range of services for people who find themselves homeless and on the streets, for example: 

  • day centres are a useful source of practical support – they provide a warm place to stay during the day and food, clothing, laundry facilities and showers 
    the Royal British Legion might be able to help with a rent deposit
  • SSAFA provide housing advice to people currently serving in the forces and ex services personnel and their families
  • Use the Homeless England directory to find details of other day centres and hostels in London and across the UK

Further housing support and advice by Veterans’ Housing Advice 

Veterans' Gateway is a new service which provides clear pathways for ex-Service personnel in housing need throughout the United Kingdom to move into permanent homes. It is provided in partnership with The Royal British Legion, Shelter and Connect Assist, its main aim is to make accessing the services of charities easier through a telephone helpline open seven days a week from 8am-8pm. It can, for example, provide a housing intervention that negates the need to consider a rent bond or rent deposit. There is now a Veterans’ Gateway website and the direct number to an advisor is 0808 801 0880, that can also be accessed via the Veterans’ Gateway on 0808 802 1212 that is available 24/7.

Services provided may include:

  • Supported Accommodation - providing temporary accommodation for veterans, with support
  • Long Term Housing - providing settled accommodation for veterans, with or without support
  • General Needs - Unsupported housing for members of the ex-Service community unable to buy or rent on the open market. Tenants will usually be self-sufficient, but may need to avail themselves of some of the floating support listed. Some adapted properties may be available or adaptations arranged as necessary
  • Floating Support - Services delivered by visiting workers to people in their own homes to help people maintain their settled accommodation
  • Outreach Services - Covering work with rough sleepers or people in temporary accommodation to help them access more settled accommodation and any support needs
  • Day Centres - The provision of activities and support to homeless and vulnerably housed people. (Also called by some providers 'drop-in' facilities)

Homeless after dishonourable discharge 

Islington Council may not have a duty to help you if you are homeless after being discharged on disciplinary grounds from the UK armed forces. 

Joining the council’s Housing Register for access to social housing

The following categories of applicants will be afforded a priority status for accommodation on Islington Council’s Housing Register if they have left the Armed Forces within the last five years: 

  • Those discharged from the Armed Forces as a result of sustaining a serious injury, illness, medical condition, or disability during service which is attributable (wholly or partly) to the person‘s service
  • Those former serving members of the Reserve Forces who need to move because of a serious injury, medical condition or disability sustained as a result of their service
  • Those applicants who are in housing need and have been discharged from the Armed Forces such as former armed forces personnel in housing need
  • Those bereaved spouses or civil partners of those serving in the regular forces where the bereaved spouse or civil partner has recently ceased to reside, or will cease to be entitled, to reside in Ministry of Defence accommodation
  • Those applying following the death of their service spouse or civil partner, where the death was wholly or partly attributable to their service. 

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000.

Advice for older people

Sheltered housing may be a suitable option for older people who want to continue to live independently 

Key advice: 

  • Sheltered housing can be bought or rented
  • Additional services such as home help and meals on wheels may be available 

What is sheltered housing? 

Sheltered housing gives older people the independence of having their own flat with the security of having an alarm system and a garden. The flats are usually small self‐contained units or single rooms in a complex, which often has a communal social area. It is possible to find sheltered housing to rent or to buy. 

The sheltered housing staff should check on you every day and be able to assist you in an emergency. They would not be expected to provide care or do things like shopping. Applicants must be aged 55 years or over and need some support - for example help with personal care, medical or social issues.

Additional care in sheltered housing 

If you require additional services, you can still have care provided by the social services department, such as meals on wheels, or someone to come in to get you up in the morning, or to help you wash, or do your housework. This support from social services is referred to as domiciliary care. Alternatively, you may need to move into extra care sheltered housing where services such as meals and personal care are usually provided. If you need to live in extra care sheltered housing, you will be assessed by the council’s Adult Social Care service. 

Who provides sheltered housing and how would I apply?

Sheltered housing schemes are owned and run by housing associations. Most schemes in Islington are managed by Clarion Housing Association. There is much demand for sheltered housing in Islington and if you are interested, you must apply to the council’s housing register. You will then be contacted by an assessment officer who will decide if sheltered housing is suitable for your housing needs. The sheltered schemes in Islington are located across the borough at:

  • Ash Court, N19
  • Belmore House, N7
  • Beversbrook Road, N19
  • Brightwell Court, N7
  • Cope House, EC1
  • Duval House, N19
  • Emmanuel Court, N7
  • Foxham Rd, N19
  • Hawberry Court, N7
  • Minerva Lodge, N7
  • Washington Court, N1

Buying sheltered housing 

It is sometimes possible to buy a flat in a sheltered housing complex. If you already own your home, it may be easier for you to buy than to rent, as home owners are usually not given priority on waiting lists to rent from the council or a housing association. 

Further information about sheltered housing

 
You can find out more about sheltered housing by calling Islington Council on 0207 527 6371 or emailing us

If you would like independent advice and assistance to access services for older people, please contact Age UK Islington on 0207 281 6018 or by email.

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000.   

Advice for victims and survivors of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse includes any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. The abuse can be psychological, physical, social, financial, or emotional. Domestic abuse can happen between two people who are or were intimate partners or family members, regardless of their gender or sexuality. 
If you are in fear of a partner, ex-partner or member of your family, you might be experiencing domestic abuse. Do they often... 

  • Call you names and make you feel bad about yourself?
  • Make you afraid by threatening you or your children?
  • Behave violently towards you?
  • Stop you seeing your friends or family?
  • Control your finances or income?
  • Harm you or make you feel you could be seriously harmed?

If the answer to some of these questions is yes you might be experiencing domestic abuse.

Get help now 

There are a number of services that you can seek support from:

  • National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 if you are experiencing domestic abuse. You can talk confidentially to someone about your situation and to find out more about your options
  • Solace provides free and confidential support for women and men in Islington affected by abuse. They can be contacted on 0808 802 5565 or 020 3795 5070 or by email
  • Galop, the anti-violence charity provide advice and support for all LGBT+ people who've experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence. They can be contacted by email or by phone on 0800 999 5428 (National Advice Line) or 020 7704 2040 (London Advice Line)
  • Southall Black Sisters charity address gender-based violence in the BAME community. They can be contacted on 020 8571 0800
  • The Suzy Lamplugh Trust run a National Stalking helpline offering advice and support for anyone experiencing stalking, call 0808 802 0300
  • Karma Nirvana provides support for victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage, call 0800 4599 9247
  • Women's Aid Domestic Abuse directory
  • Please call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 if you feel in despair and want someone to listen to you and provide emotional support
  • Safe Spaces (pharmacies) – seeking support during Covid-19 Boots, Morrison’s and Superdrug and a number of other pharmacies are displaying domestic abuse support information in their stores and allowing customers to use a confidential room to make a call. This is in partnership with Hestia on their Safe Spaces campaign. How to access a Safe Space
    • Walk into any participating pharmacy in the UK
    • Ask at the healthcare counter to use their Safe Space
    • A pharmacist will show you to the Safe Space which will be the consultancy room
    • Once inside, you will find displayed specialist domestic abuse support information for you to access, to make that call or access Bright Sky safely
  • Refuge is a charity that help women and children experiencing domestic abuse. They can help you find refuge accommodation for you and your children, some refuges are specifically for women from certain backgrounds, such as Irish or Asian women. Staff at refuges can give you advice about your situation. Contact them on 0808 2000 247
  • Mens advice line is for men experiencing domestic abuse, you can contact them on 0808 801 0327 or by email
  • If you are man who has to leave home because of domestic abuse, you can make a homeless application to Islington Council. There is limited specialist housing for men experiencing domestic abuse. You can find out more about the help available on Shelter's website or Citizens Advice's website
  • Respect offer advice and support for perpetrators, call their Freephone 0808 802 4040

Please call the police on 999 if:

  • your personal safety is threatened
  • you are at risk of assault or injury
  • you are in an emergency Leaving home immediately

If you feel you are at risk of harm there are alternatives you could explore such as the Homeshelter which can carry out safety works in your home such as changing locks, fire proof letter boxes and panic rooms. This is a free service. 

Leaving home immediately

If you think you need to urgently leave your home, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs and Strategy service on 0207 527 6371. If possible please take some essentials with you such as a change of clothes, toiletries and any medication you need to take regularly. Try to bring important items such as your passport, bank and credit cards and mobile phone. Don't make a decision to give up your home permanently until you have spoken to an adviser and considered all your options. 

Get homelessness help from the council 

You can apply to our housing needs team as a homeless person if you can't stay in your home. Islington Council has to give you advice about finding somewhere to live. Some people are entitled to emergency accommodation. If Islington Council has a duty to find you somewhere to live you will be asked to provide details of your situation. You may be asked for supporting evidence, which could include details and dates of incidents. You can ask a friend or an adviser for support. 

Get advice immediately if Islington Council says it won't help you because it believes it was reasonable for you to stay in your home. You could challenge this decision. Contact Civil Legal Advice on 0345 345 4 345 if you are entitled to legal aid. Use Shelter's directory to find an adviser in your area.

Help for children and young people 

If you or someone else in your family is being hurt at home, you may not be sure what you can do about it. Domestic abuse is not your fault and you won't get into trouble for telling someone about it. The first thing is to tell someone else about what is happening to you. You can tell a teacher, a neighbour, a friend or a friend's parent. You can call Childline on 0800 1111 for free or visit their website. They won't tell anyone else you are calling unless you are in immediate danger. They can tell you about places where you can get help.

Domestic abuse Act

The Domestic Abuse Act will give those who are homeless as a result of domestic abuse priority need for accommodation secured by the local authority. This will help to ensure victims do not remain with their abuser for fear of not having a roof over their head.

What does this mean in practice?

The Act will extend priority need to victims who are homeless as a result of domestic abuse and eligible for assistance. This will mean that councils will no longer need to consider if a victim is vulnerable as result of their abuse in order to access accommodation secured by the local authority.

Background

In May 2020, the Government announced its intent through the Domestic Abuse Bill to give those who are homeless as a result of being a victim of domestic abuse priority need for accommodation secured by the local authority. Under current homelessness legislation, victims of domestic abuse who are not in priority need for another reason, for example because they are pregnant or have dependent children, must satisfy a vulnerability test by showing that they are more ‘vulnerable’ than the ordinary person as a result of domestic abuse in order to be identified as having a priority need. The priority need changes will mean that that consideration of vulnerability will no longer be required for homeless domestic abuse victims.

What evidence will Islington Council require that someone is a victim of domestic abuse?

The Homelessness Code of Guidance sets out the types of evidence that may be appropriate, including that council’s may seek information from health care professionals, social services or friends/relatives of the applicant. However, the guidance is clear that council’s must ensure inquiries do not provoke further violence or abuse, and that the alleged perpetrator should not be approach. It also outlines that evidence from police or family members may not be obtainable and should not be a requirement for support from the authority.

Will this mean that victims of domestic abuse get priority for a social housing tenancy?

Council’s are responsible for devising allocation schemes for social housing within a national framework. This will remain unchanged. In framing these criteria, council’s must have regard to duties under the equalities legislation and the requirement to give overall priority to people in the reasonable preference categories.
Council’s must also give ‘reasonable preference’ to all homeless people, regardless of priority need. This means that any household homeless as a result of domestic abuse should be given a reasonable preference.

If the victim is now in priority need, will children or other members of their household be accommodated as well?

Where an individual has priority need, council’s must provide accommodation which is suitable for the whole household under section 176 of the Housing Act 1996. This means that any victim of domestic abuse and their children or other members of the household will be accommodated by the council. 

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000.

Advice for young people who were in care

If you are a care leaver you may be able to get housing and other help from Islington Council. The help you get mainly depends on your age. 

Key advice: 

  • Islington Council’s Children’s Social Care service is responsible for finding you somewhere to live until you turn 18
  • If you are a 18, 19 or 20 year old homeless care leaver, Islington Council’s Housing Needs service must help 

Housing help for 16 and 17 year old care leavers

If: 

  • you have already left care, and 
  • you have spent a total of at least 13 weeks in care since the age of 14, and 
  • part of that time in care was while you were 16 or 17 

You will be able to get help including somewhere to live from Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. It doesn't matter if those 13 weeks were not all at the same time. 

You have different rights if you have spent less than a total of 13 weeks in care, or you want to leave care before your 16th birthday. 

You can get additional independent advice by using Shelter's directory located on their website to find your local Shelter advice centre or Citizens Advice. This service is free and confidential. 

Financial support for 16 or 17 year old care leavers 

Most 16 or 17 year old care leavers are not eligible for benefits. The Children’s Social Care service of Islington Council must help you by: 

  • providing housing or helping you find and keep your own place
  • supporting you financially by paying you enough for your rent, food, bills, travel costs for education and training, clothing, pocket money and childcare if you need it
  • giving you any other support you need, such as help with continuing your education, finding work or dealing with personal problems

You can usually only claim benefits if you are a 16 or 17 year old care leaver and you are also a single parent or unable to work because of a disability or illness. Find out more from Turn2Us about benefit rules for care leavers.

Housing help for 18 to 21 year old care leavers

If you are aged 18 to 21, you can get help from both Islington Council’s Children’s Social Care service and the Housing Needs service. You are automatically classed as being in ‘priority need’ until your 21st birthday, which means that the Housing Needs service should help you find a place to live. 

If you are aged 18 to 21 and spent at least one night in care when you were 16 or 17, you are automatically classed as being in priority need until your 21st birthday. Children’s services can also help you by providing support and help with training and education. If you are in full-time further or higher education, Children’s Services must find you somewhere to live during holiday periods if you need it. 

Benefits for care leavers over 18 

When you turn 18 you are entitled to claim benefits. You should be able to claim Universal Credit if you need to. 

Housing help for 21 years old and above care leavers

Some older care leavers can get accommodation from the Housing Needs service if they are in priority need. For example, this may be the case if you: 

  • are vulnerable as a result of having been in care 
  • haven't had a stable home since you left care 
  • have slept on the streets in the past

If you are in full-time further or higher education and you have nowhere to stay outside term time Children’s services must also find you somewhere to live. 

Other support for care leavers aged 18 to 24 

As a care leaver you should continue to receive help and advice from Islington Council until your 21st birthday, or 25th if you are still in education or training. Children’s services can help you by providing assistance with education and training until your 25th birthday. 

Your personal adviser should still keep in touch and should go over your pathway plan with you to see how you are getting on (there is more information about personal advisers on this web page). Ask Social Services to help you if you need support to continue with your education or find training or employment. They may be able to help with the cost of living near your college, training centre or workplace. 

Help for all care leavers 

The council’s role 
The council that last looked after you remains responsible for you even if you move to a different area. The council must continue to give you any help you need, even if you move to another area. Contact Islington Council on 020 7527 8585 or call Shelter's helpline on 0808 800 4444 if you need emergency housing or support. 

Personal adviser 
Before you leave care you should be given a pathway plan setting out what support you might need to live independently. You should be also be given a Personal Adviser. This could be your current social worker or a worker from the ‘leaving care’ team. It is their job to keep in touch with you, check that you are alright and help you get what you need. To do this they must make sure that your Pathway Plan is followed and reviewed with you at least every six months.

You're given a personal adviser whose job it is to make sure that you claim everything you are entitled to. They can help you with application forms for housing, benefits, and education and/or training courses. They should also help you with learning life skills, like how to budget. Your personal adviser should stay in contact with you and provide ongoing support and help until you turn 21 or until your 25th birthday if you are still studying full time. Get advice if you don't have a personal adviser. You may be able to get one even if you didn't get one while you were still in care. 

Suitable accommodation for young care leavers 
Any accommodation Islington Council provides should be suitable for you. You may get a place in a hostel or a self-contained flat. It is unlikely, but in some cases you could be offered a place in a children's home or foster care. Ask your personal adviser to help you if you have problems in your accommodation. Get advice immediately if you're placed in bed and breakfast accommodation or any other unsuitable accommodation. 

Your local Shelter advice centre can be accessed on Shelter’s website.

Single room rate 
Usually if you are aged under 35 and you rent from a private landlord, the maximum Universal Credit you can get is the same rate you would get for renting a single room in a shared house. However, if you've been in care, this doesn't apply until you turn 22. You should be entitled to Universal Credit even if you have just spent one night in care. There is a maximum amount that you can be paid, which depends on the area you live in. 

Extra help for moving into a new place 
If you are a care leaver moving to a new place, you may be entitled to a budgeting loan to help pay for any rent in advance, moving expenses or household items. Most people who have been on income support or jobseekers allowance for at least 26 weeks can apply. These loans are paid back through deductions from your benefits. 

Priority need 
If you are aged 18 to 21 and spent at least one night in care when you were 16 or 17, you are automatically classed as being in priority need until your 21st birthday. You may be entitled to emergency housing from Islington Council if you are in priority need. Most young people who have been in care are entitled to help if they become homeless. The help you are entitled to usually depends on your age and personal circumstances. If you are under the age of 18, Islington Council’s Children’s Social Care service is responsible for finding you somewhere to live. 

Some older care leavers can get accommodation from the Housing Needs service if we can show that you are in priority need. For example, this may be the case if you: 

  • are vulnerable as a result of having been in care
  • haven't had a stable home since you left care
  • have slept on the streets in the past

Children’s services can help you by providing assistance with education and training until your 25th birthday. If you are in full-time further or higher education and you have nowhere to stay outside term time Children’s services must also find you somewhere to live.

What is local connection? 
If you have been provided with accommodation by a local authority and you are normally living in an area for a continuous period of two years or more and some or all of this period falls before you are 16 years of age, then you have a local connection with that area. 

Contact us 

Get advice if you become homeless. An adviser can help you to: 

  • check whether Children’s services and/or the Housing Needs service should help you
  • tell you what sort of accommodation and support Children’s services normally provide in Islington – this will give you an idea of what you can expect
  • make sure you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to
  • tell you what longer term housing options are available in your area and give you an idea of how much it might cost
  • put you in contact with specialist support organisations or local schemes that can help you raise a deposit or find a suitable place to live

Use Shelter's directory to find an adviser in your local area, or call Shelter's helpline on 0808 800 4444. 

Go to our directory for more information on the council’s work regarding young people making the transition from care system to independent living.

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000. 

Advice if you are homeless after leaving hospital

If you are going to be homeless once you are discharged from hospital, you should tell the hospital nursing staff as soon as possible. This is so their hospital discharge team can start the process of contacting the council’s housing service to help prevent your homelessness. The discharge team may then refer you to the Housing Needs and Strategy service at the council. The Housing Needs service will assess your situation and if you are eligible, you may be offered temporary accommodation while your homeless application is assessed. 

What if I can’t return to my home?

If you have a home but are unable to return to your home due to the condition of your home, because you will require adaptations to your home or some other reason you should inform the hospital discharge team immediately. They hospital discharge team will make contact with your landlord (this may be the council or a landlord in the private sector) and or social services if adaptations need to be made to your home so that it is safe for you to be discharged. The team will also contact social services if you need more help in the home when you are discharged. 

If you need housing related support, you can be referred to a floating support service for a time limited period. This is a free service to that will support you to maintain your independence. 

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 0207 527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000.

Advice if you are homeless when released from prison

If you were recently released from prison, find out about services that could provide practical support and help you find accommodation.

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017

As of April 2018, The Homelessness Reduction Act changed the homelessness duties for Islington Council to help all eligible applicants – rather than just those with a ‘priority need’.

It also adds the Duty for council’s to take steps to relieve homelessness.

Islington Council help all those who are homeless to secure suitable accommodation, regardless of whether you are ‘intentionally homeless’ or have a ‘priority need’. This means that all eligible households will be offered help to find alternative accommodation for themselves.

Help from Islington Council

You can apply to Islington Council for help if you’re homeless now or due to leave prison in the next 8 weeks and don’t have anywhere to stay on release.

When you seek housing assistance, the council must:

  • carry out an assessment of your housing needs;
  • give you a personal housing plan that sets out the steps you and the council must take to find suitable accommodation.

Where appropriate, Islington Council will work with the National Probation Service, or the Youth Offending team to decide what support you might need to find and keep somewhere to live. You can apply to any council for help but it’s usually best to apply to an area where you have a local connection. Being in prison in an area doesn't count as a local connection.

If you apply to an area where you don't have a connection, you may be referred to an area where you do. You can't be referred to another area if:

  • an injunction means you can't go there;
  • you're at risk of violence there.

You won't qualify for any housing or support from the council if you don't meet immigration or residence conditions.

Emergency housing

You will qualify for emergency housing if Islington Council has reason to believe you are homeless and in priority need.

You have an automatic priority need for housing if you:

  • have children who live with you;
  • are pregnant or a partner you live with is pregnant;
  • are aged 18-20 and spent time in care when you were 16 or 17.

You also have a priority need for housing if you're classed as 'vulnerable'. This means it's harder for you to cope with being homeless than other people in the same situation.

You may be also be classed as vulnerable due to your time spent in prison.

Islington Council must consider:

  • any support you get from friends or family;
  • your physical and mental health and how it affects you;
  • how long you spent in prison and when you were released;
  • if you've been able to find or keep accommodation since release.

Longer-term housing

Islington Council will provide longer-term housing if you meet the 5 conditions for longer-term housing. However, the council doesn't have to help with longer-term housing if we decide you are 'intentionally homeless'. This means you lost your home because of something you deliberately did or didn't do.

Examples of when you could be intentionally homeless include if you lost your home because you:

  • were convicted of a serious offence;
  • didn't pay rent when you were in prison.

If Islington Council says you're intentionally homeless, you may be able to challenge the decision.

What area you can be housed in if you are homeless?

When you apply to Islington Council as homeless, the Housing Needs service will check to see if you have a local connection with our area. You can establish a local connection, for example, by living, working, or having immediate family (usually a parent or brother or sister) in the area.

 Time spent in prison in a specific area does not give you a local connection with the area where the prison is located. However, if you have no local connection with any area or if you are fleeing domestic violence, you can apply to any council in any area in the country. The council you apply to has to help you. There may be restrictions placed on where you can live. For example, if an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) says you can't go to a particular area, you may need to seek help from a different council.

If you are a high risk offender managed by a multi-agency public protection arrangement (MAPPA), you may be required to live in certain areas.

Help before you leave prison

Most prisons have a housing advice and resettlement service called Through the Gate. The service is delivered by charities including Shelter, St Giles Trust, St Mungos and Catch22.

A resettlement worker in prison can help you with things like:

  • referrals to suitable accommodation if you'll be homeless on release;
  • dealing with a housing benefit claim while you're in prison ;
  • claiming universal credit on release;
  • rent arrears or eviction.

 You can apply for the following grants before release:

  • a £46 discharge grant
  • up to £50 for your first night's accommodation (paid direct to the housing provider)

You need a suitable address to stay at before you can be released on bail or home detention curfew (an electronic tag).

If you cannot live at your usual address, court or prison staff may refer you to the Bail Accommodation Support Scheme (BASS).

Contact Nacro's Resettlement Advice Service on 0300 123 1999 for further advice. You can read more about the service on their website.

Help from the probation service

If you are allocated a probation officer in the area you'll be living after release, the will manage your supervision in the community while you remain on licence.

Your resettlement worker in prison will work on your resettlement plan with your probation officer. If you're released on licence, the conditions of your licence might mean you can't live in certain areas.

Probation teams can give you housing advice and may be able to refer you to a specialist hostel, supported housing or a private landlord.

Help with housing costs

Upon release from prison, you will probably need to claim universal credit unless you live or move in with a partner who's already claiming housing benefit.

You may also be able to get help through a:

  • discretionary housing payment;
  • grant or loan from a local welfare scheme.

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm.

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000.

Advice if you are suffering a mental illness or impairment and threatened with homelessness

Islington Council’s Housing Needs service will ensure early identification of housing problems takes place to hopefully prevent you from becoming homeless. This will be achieved through partnership work and multi-agency working to prevent you from becoming homeless, through the necessary support intervention you may require.

On the basis that you are suffering from a mental illness or impairment the council could well accept that you are vulnerable and therefore in priority need for accommodation. This will be determined by an assessment of your personal circumstances.

Islington Council will continuously review the advice and advocacy services available to you, and develop outreach support services according to your needs through the Personal Housing Plan that will be completed in partnership with you and potentially your advocate.

Islington Council’s Housing Needs service will attempt to provide you with access to main stream healthcare services. Front-line housing staff within the Housing Needs service with structured mental health training, support and supervision, with access to advice and guidance from specialist services, will provide a more in-depth support to you.

Contact us

 If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or phone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm.

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000.

Find out more about mental health services in Islington on our website. Additional information can also be found on the Camden and Islington mental health resource directory.

Advice on homelessness prevention

Our prevention duty 

We have a legal duty as set out in the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 to provide advice and assistance if you are:

  • Eligible for assistance, which means you have the right to
  • Claim benefits and housing in the UK
  • At risk of becoming homeless within 56 days (eight weeks)

This is called the prevention duty and it means we must take reasonable steps to help prevent you from becoming homeless. This prevention duty on the council lasts for 56 days.

If you are at risk of losing your home or fear becoming homeless because you are unable to manage your tenancy, please contact us as soon as you can.

Our Relief duty

If we are unable to prevent you from becoming homeless during the prevention duty period, i.e. within the 56 day period, this would trigger the relief duty which lasts for 56 days. 

During the relief duty stage, we will take reasonable steps to help you to secure suitable accommodation that is available for you to live in for a minimum of six months. This means we will work with you to come to an agreement about our responsibilities and yours that results in finding and securing housing that will relieve your homelessness. If you are homeless, please contact us as soon as you can.

Personal housing plan (PHP)

We will provide a dedicated housing officer who will work with you to prevent or relieve your homelessness. Your housing officer will assess your needs and given you a personal housing plan (PHP) after your assessment. The PHP aims to ensure you have somewhere suitable to live for at least the next 6 months. It is an important document as it sets out the reasonable steps that you and your housing officer must take to:

  • stop you becoming homeless
  • find housing if you have already lost your home

Your housing officer will ask you to agree to any steps included in the plan. If you don't agree to the plan, your housing officer will decide what steps you must take and will record the reasons you disagreed on the plan.

What will you find in your Personal housing plan (PHP)?

The focus of your PHP will be on helping you to stay in your home if it's safe and affordable. Where that is not possible, we will work with you to help you find another suitable home.

The information within your PHP could include the following:

  • Council to help you to keep your home - help could include:
    • support to claim benefits
    • advice on tenancy rights or debt management
    • negotiation with your landlord or family to help you stay if it is safe and affordable
  • Council to help you to find a home - help could include:
    • help to find a private tenancy
    • payment towards a deposit or rent in advance
    • referral to a supported housing project
  • Steps you should take to keep or find a home. You could be asked to:
    • look for an affordable private tenancy
    • attend viewings of suitable properties
    • get benefits or debt advice
    • apply to housing mobility schemes
    • take part in mediation

In all cases, your housing officer must reassess your situation if it changes and update your plan with you. When your plan is changed, you will be asked to agree to the revised information and actions set out within it. 

Homelessness decision

If you are still homeless when the relief duty period ends, we will make a decision about whether we owe you any further housing duty. We will usually only accept a full duty to house you for 12 months if you:

  • Are in priority need
  • Are not intentionally homeless
  • Have a local connection to Islington

If you are not in priority need or are intentionally homeless, we may only have to offer you advice and information. We may be able to provide temporary accommodation for a short period of time, depending on your circumstances.

What to do if you disagree with our decision

If you are not happy with a decision we have made, you can ask us to look at it again. This can include a decision about the steps we think are reasonable to prevent or relieve your homelessness, or that you have unreasonably refused to co-operate with the actions agreed within your personal housing plan. 

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000. 

Advice on parental eviction – leaving the home of your family or friends

Being asked to leave the family home is one of the most common causes of homelessness in Islington. The reasons may include:

  • Arguments about chores
  • Arguments about behaviour which is a nuisance to others
  • Arguments about standards of cleanliness
  • Lack of space for everyone in the home
  • Disagreements about bills/ rent etc

It’s important to remember that it is normal for families to have problems from time to time; living together is difficult for any family and often requires negotiation and compromise. If you have constant arguments in your home and are at risk of being asked to leave, please contact the Housing Needs service on 0207 527 6371 or by email and ask to speak to a housing adviser. Once the housing adviser has assessed your housing circumstances, it may be appropriate for the officer to act as a mediator to support you to resolve your housing issues and prevent your homelessness. Alternatively, you may be provided advice on how to access other housing options (for example supported housing if you have other support needs) and or relevant specialist support services. 

Independent support services

We have a dedicated web page for advice on leaving home as a young person which includes ways to contact us, or other free and confidential agencies for help. Generally, for people leaving home, it is a major decision and requires careful thought and planning. It is vital that you explore your options first and check your entitlements. There are a number of local organisations that can help you with advice and support: 

  • New Horizon Youth Homelessness Project offers advice and support to find accommodation and help with education, training and employment. They can be contacted by phone 020 7388 5560 and email
  • Depaul offer housing advice, mediation and counselling, they can be contacted by phone 020 7278 4224
  • Albert Kennedy Trust offer support with housing and information and advice to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people aged under 25 years, who are homeless or in crisis. They can be contacted by phone 020 7831 6562
  • Shelter can give advice on finding somewhere to stay. They can be contacted by phone 0808 800 4444
  • Centrepoint can help with finding somewhere to stay, their helpline number is 0808 8000661.
  • Homeless Link has a website with information and contact details for hostels, daycentres and support services

Feel unsafe at home? 

If you feel unsafe at home, for example because someone is being violent or abusive towards you, you must seek help straight away. Contact the police in an emergency.

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000.  

Advice on relationship breakdowns (non-violent)

Housing rights for individuals who are in the process of going through a relationship breakdown can be particularly complicated. You should aim to seek independent legal advice if this is something you are experiencing. 

Guidance and tools 

If you have a joint tenancy or own a property with your ex-partner you may still have rights to occupy the place you are living in together. 

Where else can I go for housing help and advice? 

There are several places you could visit: 

  • Shelter has produced a guide for people who have experienced a relationship breakdown and what their housing rights are after splitting up. This information is available on on Shelter's website. Shelter can also be contacted by phone 0344 515 1944
  • Citizens Advice Islington can give general and legal advice and help, and a list of legal aid solicitors. Call  08444 111 444
  • You can find a legal aid solicitor on the Law Society's website

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000. 

Advice when facing homelessness due to substance misues issues

Can the council provide me with advice? 

The council may be able to provide advice if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness and you are unable to make provisions for yourself. You can make an application to receive further advice and information about your housing issue. 

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 

As of April 2018, The Homelessness Reduction Act changed the homelessness duties for Islington Council to help all eligible applicants – rather than just those with a ‘priority need’. 

It also adds two new duties: 

  • Duty to prevent homelessness: Islington Council has to help people at risk of losing suitable accommodation as soon as they are threatened with homelessness within 56 days. This means that we will try to prevent your homelessness by helping you to remain in your current accommodation, if that is possible. 
  • Duty to take steps to relieve homelessness: We will help all those who are homeless to secure suitable accommodation, regardless of whether they are ‘intentionally homeless’ or have a priority need. This means that all eligible households will be offered help to find alternative accommodation for themselves. 

Will the council provide me with accommodation? 

We can provide advice and support to you to help you find alternative accommodation. However, we will not have a duty to provide emergency accommodation or temporarily house you unless you are considered to be eligible, homeless and have priority need. 

For more information on the homelessness criteria please visit Shelter's website or call 080 8800 4444. In addition, you can discuss this with the council when making a homelessness application. 

If you would like some further advice and assistance regarding substance misuse (drug and alcohol), you can talk to your GP about possible referrals they can make to aid your recovery. For information on the services substance misuse services available, please see below.

  • Camden and Islington Better Lives website is an integrated drug and alcohol service delivered by Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with WDP and Humankind. They offer a free and confidential support service for individuals and their families affected by drug and alcohol problems. Their specialist team include substance misuse practitioners, doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists and pharmacists, as well as complementary therapists, volunteers and peer mentors. They offer a high quality and professional service that supports individuals and their families who wish to receive advice, assessment and treatment for their drug and/or alcohol problems
  • Alcoholics Anonymous is a source of support if you have problems with alcohol and is staffed by recovering alcoholics. Open 365 days a year, they can give details of local AA groups and contact with local member. Contact details for the service are:
    • Helpline for London: 020 7833 0022 (10am to 10pm daily) 
    • National helpline: 080 0917 7650 
  • Narcotics Anonymous is a non-profit fellowship of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. They are all recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. Their helpline number is  030 0999 1212 
  • Talk to Frank offers free confidential drugs information and advice 24 hours a day. The helpline number is 030 0123 6600
  • Drinkline is a national advice line for people with alcohol problems and their families and friends. The helpline number is 030 0123 1110 
  • Adfam is a national charity working with families affected by drugs and alcohol and is a leading agency in substance related family work including database of local support groups that helps families hear about and talk to people who understand their situation. You can get in contact by phone 020 3817 9410 or email
  • Al-Anon Family Groups is there for anyone whose life is or has been affected by someone else's drinking. You can get in contact by phone 0800 0086 811 or email
  • London Friend UK’s oldest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans charity. They aim to support the health and mental wellbeing of the LGBT community in and around London. The helpline number is 020 7833 1674 (10am-6pm, Monday to Friday), ask for one of the Antidote Team

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000. 

Your housing rights

Are you homeless?

You don't have to be sleeping on the streets or not have a roof over your head to be considered homeless. Most people who are legally homeless are not on the streets. There are many situations where the council must accept you are homeless, and may have a legal duty to help you with housing. 

For example:

  • You're at risk of violence or abuse where you are living. This can be from a partner, ex-partner or family member, or someone in your area. The council may ask you to provide details of the incidents. Evidence is helpful but the council will not turn you away if you haven’t reported your experiences to the police
  • You don't have 'a roof over your head' i.e. you are street homeless
  • You're at risk of losing your home
  • You can't afford to stay where you are
  • Your accommodation is very temporary
  • You are staying with friends or 'sofa surfing'
  • You've been locked out or illegally evicted
  • Your accommodation is in very poor condition
  • You can't live together with your partner or close family
  • You have nowhere to put your houseboat or caravan

If one or more of these apply, you may be eligible for help from the council.

Who can the council help?

The council can help if:

  • You must normally live in the UK long-term and not be subject to immigration control
  • You must be homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days
  • You have a priority need - this means either you have children, you have a physical or mental health disability, or if you are more vulnerable for other reasons such as fleeing domestic violence
  • You must not have made yourself homeless on purpose
  • You must have a local connection with the borough. However, this is not necessary if you are fleeing domestic violence

If you meet these criteria, you can make a homeless application. This means that you are telling the council you are homeless or at risk of homelessness and need their help. By law, you must be allowed to make this application on the day you come to the council. The council will make an appointment for you to be interviewed by a housing officer. This should be the same day if you have nowhere to stay that night. You can bring a support worker or friend with you in to the interview.

At the interview

You need to have the right documents at your interview. The process will be quicker if you have your identification and notice of eviction or a letter from the person you have been staying with. For more information on the homelessness interview, look at the Shelter website.

If the council says it can help you
If the council accepts that it has a duty to continue housing you, you'll probably have to stay in temporary accommodation until it offers you somewhere more long-term or 'settled'.

If the council says it cannot help you
You can challenge the council’s decision. If you think the council's decision is wrong, contact an independent local advice centre like Citizens Advice Bureau as soon as you can.

You can get further advice from:

Contact us

If you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs, please contact Islington Council’s Housing Needs service. Our Housing Needs service can be accessed via email or telephone 020 7527 6371. This service operates from 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday’s when the service is open from 1pm to 5pm. 

There is a 24 hour service (outside of office hours) available for any person or household who is homeless and this can be accessed out of hours by dialling 020 7527 2000. 

 
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