If you are at risk of losing your home and becoming homeless, you can approach the City of London for free advice and information about your housing options. If you are threatened with homelessness within 56 days or already homeless, we will consider our statutory duties to either prevent or relieve your homelessness following a full assessment of your current situation.
As part of your application you will be issued a Personalised Housing Plan which details reasonable steps that the City of London will agree with you to best prevent you from becoming homeless. The actions in the Plan may include some of the following options or advice:
If you are asked to leave by friends or family within 56 days, we will attempt to negotiate with them for you to remain living in the property or for you to be given sufficient time to secure alternative accommodation.
A breakdown in the relationship with your landlord or the person you are living with may be resolved by mediation. You may be referred to services like the Southwark Mediation Centre for help with this.
If your rent arrears have been caused by a temporary change in your income, we may advise that you approach your local Jobcentre or Local Authority to access services that can help you clear any outstanding arrears.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse in your home, you may wish to seek specialist advice and support for help to remain in your home or to find alternative accommodation. You may be referred to various domestic abuse organisations or a refuge placement may be found through the National Domestic Violence Helpline. As part of your options, you may be considered for the Sanctuary Scheme and City of London police work with a Vulnerable Victim Advocate who can offer free and confidential advice.
The East London Women's Project (ELWP) is a shared supported accommodation scheme for single women with multiple needs who are survivors of domestic violence or other gender based violence. ELWP is available to women with a connection to one of the local authorities in east London. Your Advice and Homelessness Officer will discuss this option with you if they feel it would be helpful to resolve your housing situation and ensure your safety.
If you have a tenancy and you are struggling to pay the rent, we may ask you to contact your local Housing Benefit team to see if you are entitled to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. We may also advise you to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment if there is a significant shortfall between your rent and your Housing Benefit/Universal Credit award.
Your landlord must follow legal procedures to recover possession of a property therefore it is important to get legal advice to ensure this is done correctly. If your landlord is trying to evict you illegally, you may be able to stay in your home. As part of your Plan we may refer to you seek further help from City Advice throughout the possession process.
The City of London Rent Deposit Scheme can help people with the cost of moving into the private rented sector. You will need to find your own affordable property, giving you freedom of choice over the location and type of accommodation. The scheme is open to homeless, low-income households with a local connection to the City of London.
You may also be eligible for other private renting schemes in the area which you live. Crisis have a database of schemes available in each area.
During your assessment we may also identify areas where you can reduce your expenditure, maximise your income and manage any debts. We may use a benefit calculator and refer you to City Advice to help you make positive changes to your finances.
We will offer you advice on finding accommodation, schemes to help you secure private rented accommodation, and social housing in the event that we are unable to help you remain living in your own home. If we are unable to prevent you from becoming homeless, we will explore other options with you as soon as possible.
If you are currently living in social housing your Advice and Homelessness Officer may discuss the Pan-London Housing Reciprocal Agreement with you, if appropriate for your circumstances. This is a voluntary collaboration between local authorities and registered housing providers in London. The purpose is to prevent homelessness in cases of domestic abuse, violence against women and girls (VAWG), hate crimes, where people are at risk of harms from gangs or youth violence or other high risk reasons. People must have an existing social tenancy and be at risk in their borough, so in need of a reciprocal move.
'Key workers' with a connection to the City of London can access self-contained properties to rent in the Peabody managed scheme at Nile Street. Applicants must be eligible for the housing register and once accepted will be nominated to Peabody for available vacancies. (You are a keyworker if you work for the City of London, City of London Police, St Bart's Hospital, The Barbican Centre or are a teacher working within the Square Mile).