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If you are at risk of losing your home and becoming homeless, there are things you can do to help maintain your current home. Homeless prevention involves early action and can take many forms.

National Housing Advice Service (NHAS)

NHAS is a partnership between Shelter and Citizens Advice and have producedfactsheets across a number of areas that can be used by the public.

Financial help

You may want to get financial advice to help manage your debts, reduce expenditure or maximise your income. If you live or work in the Square Mile, then City Advice may be able to help with these things. You can also use a benefit calculator to find out what benefits you can get, how to claim and how your benefits will be affected if you start work.

Negotiation

If you are asked to leave by friends and family, you should first try to negotiate with them. If possible, it is better to stay where you are or at least allow sufficient time to arrange alternative accommodation.

Housing benefit or universal credit

If you have a tenancy and are having difficulty paying the rent, then you can contact the council where you live to check if you are entitled to housing benefit or universal credit. If there is a shortfall between housing benefit or universal credit and your rent, then you may wish to speak to your local council about a discretionary housing payment.

Rent arrears

When rent arrears have been caused by a temporary inability to pay your rent, you may want to approach your local council and ask if there is any help to repay these.

Mediation

A breakdown in the relationship with your landlord or the person you are living with may be resolved by mediation. Services like the Southwark Mediation Centre can provide help with this.

Legal advice

Your landlord must follow legal procedures to recover possession of a property, so it is important to get legal advice to make sure this is done correctly.You may be able to stay in your home if your landlord is trying to evict you illegally. City Advice  may be able to help you access legal advice.

Domestic abuse

People who have suffered domestic abuse may wish to access specialist advice and support to help remain in their home. The City of London Police work with a Vulnerable Victim Advocate who can give free and confidential advice. The National Domestic Violence Helpline is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf. Your local council may also have a Sanctuary scheme to provide measures that would make your home safer to live in.

Former members of regular armed forces

A number of charities and organisations can provide help to prevent the homelessness of service personnel. These include Veterans Aid and SSAFA, but the details of other organisations can be found on the GOV UK website.

Alternative accommodation

If you cannot stay in your own home, then it is important to explore other options as soon as possible. We have advice on finding accommodation and your local council may also have schemes to help you access the private rented sector or social housing.


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