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At risk of homelessness and need help

If you're struggling to pay your rent, mortgage or other bills, or generally worried about your housing situation, we may be able to help. 

If you need help paying your rent or Council Tax, you can use our benefits calculator to see what benefits you may be entitled to and how to apply online. You will be asked to upgrade your Enfield Connected account to use the calculator if you don’t already have one.

Start the benefits calculator

If you're already receiving all the benefits you are entitled to, read our guidance below for further help:

If you still need help with your housing situation, are threatened with homelessness, or think you may become homeless in the near future, you can visit John Wilkes House.

If you can't get to John Wilkes House, you can contact 020 8379 1000 (choose option 4 then option 3).

A person is threatened with homelessness if they:

  • are likely to become homeless in 56 days
  • have received a valid notice to quit (S21 notice)
  • have received a notice that their landlord requires possession of accommodation (NOSP) which expires within 56 days

If you're threatened with homelessness and are eligible for help, we can help to prevent your homelessness. You can find more details on who is eligible by visiting Shelter. If you’re subject to immigration control, you will be asked for further information to determine what type of assistance can be offered.

A person could be homeless if they:

  • have no home in the UK or elsewhere that they have a legal right to occupy
  • have a movable home, such as a boat or caravan, and there is nowhere it can be placed legally
  • are at risk of harm if they stay in their current home

If you think you may be homeless or threatened with homelessness, we may be able to help you to stay in your home or move to another home. The earlier you contact us the more we'll be able to help.

If you're homeless and eligible, we'll look at whether you have local connections in the area including:

  • how long you've lived in the area
  • if you're employed in the area
  • if you have close family in the area
  • other special circumstances

If you don't have a local connection to Enfield, we may refer your application to the council you do have a local connection with.

We will carry out an assessment of your circumstances to help us understand your situation and what help and support you need. We will complete a personal housing support plan to set out what you need to do and what we will do to help you. Over the course of your application we will update you with what we are doing. You will also need to contact us regularly to let us know what you have done from your personal housing support plan.

We will first try to prevent you from becoming homeless. This may include talking to your landlord, mortgage lender or family to find a way to resolve your current threat of homelessness. We may also refer you to other organisations for help with your current housing or to find alternative accommodation. If we're unable to prevent your homelessness within 56 days, we will try to relieve your homelessness. This may be with an offer of private rented accommodation or placement into temporary accommodation whilst we help you secure longer term accommodation. See our advice on how to find a property to rent.

For information about what duties you may be owed, visit Shelter.

In certain circumstances we may have a duty to provide you with temporary accommodation. These are as follows:

  • if you’re pregnant
  • if you have dependent children
  • if you have a severe medical illness
  • if you become homeless due to a flood, fire or other emergency

Whilst we will consider your household circumstances, it is possible that temporary accommodation offered will not be within Enfield. If we offer you suitable temporary accommodation and you refuse this, we will not be required to make you another offer of temporary accommodation.

If you‘re sleeping rough or know someone who is, you should visit StreetLink or call them on 0300 500 0914. Street Link is not an emergency service, so if the person you are concerned about needs urgent medical assistance, call 999. You can also contact John Wilkes House for an assessment and referrals to other services.

Other organisations you can contact for help and advice:

In extreme or severe weather conditions, rough sleepers will be offered emergency accommodation if the temperature reaches zero degrees Celsius or below overnight. If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough during a period of severe cold weather, send an alert to StreetLink. If you're unable to log on to the website, you can raise an alert by phoning them on 0300 500 0914.

If you're homeless or threatened with homelessness as a result of violence or abuse, we can provide help and advice. If you're:

  • an Enfield Council tenant - contact your tenancy manager or call 0800 40 80 160
  • in temporary accommodation - contact your property manager or call 020 8379 1000
  • a housing association tenant - contact your housing association
  • a private tenant or owner - contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247
  • aged 16 to 17 - contact the Angel Centre on 020 8379 5800
  • under 16 - contact Children's Services on 020 8379 1000

If you're at immediate risk of violence, call 999. In non-emergency situations call 101. If you’re unable to remain in your accommodation and our service is closed, you should contact our out of hours service on 020 8379 1000. You can then contact John Wilkes House the next working day.

If you're fleeing domestic violence, we consider any action you have taken so far, such as contacting the police. Other available options will then be looked at and organisations that support victims of domestic violence will be contacted for help in looking for a refuge. For example, the National Domestic Violence Helpline.

If we're satisfied that a duty is owed, emergency accommodation will be provided until enquiries have been completed. In order to qualify for emergency accommodation, there must be no restriction on your rights to reside that prohibit you from accessing accommodation through us. You must also meet one of the criteria for being eligible for temporary accommodation.

Useful contacts

Police

  • In an emergency, always call 999
  • For non-emergency reports, call 101

National Domestic Violence Helpline

  • The National Domestic Violence Helpline operates 24 hours a day on freephone 0808 2000 247. The helpline can provide details of refuge accommodation across the UK and services in your local area.

Solace Women's Aid

  • Solace Women's Aid Advice Service offers information, advice and support for domestic and sexual violence. Call the advice line on 0808 802 5565 or visit Solace Women's Aid.

Enfield Muslim Women's Aid

  • Enfield Muslim Women's Aid provides services for the relief of women and their children who have suffered or are at risk of suffering domestic violence or abuse. It focuses particularly but not exclusively on Muslim women in Enfield and the surrounding area. The charity provides accommodation, support and advice. Call Enfield Muslim Women's Aid on 020 8920 3565.

Enfield Saheli

  • Enfield Saheli offers support and advice to women in Enfield and neighboring London boroughs. The charity is run by women for women, with special emphasis on support for Asian women of all ethnicities. They provide qualified bilingual counselling in Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu and Punjabi. Call Enfield Saheli on 020 8373 6218 or visit Enfield Saheli.

Victim Support

  • Victim Support can offer advice and support if you have been a victim of crime or affected by a crime committed against someone you know. Their services are free and available to everyone, regardless of if the crime has been reported or when it happened. Call Victim Support Enfield on 0845 450 4443.

Safeguarding Adults

Visit our domestic violence page for more information. If you're a child or know a child who is a victim of violence or abuse, visit Safeguarding Children.

If you're homeless and are a care leaver under the age of 25, you will need to speak with your personal advisor. Together we will make a plan on how to resolve your homelessness. We will be able to provide you with advice and carry out referrals to young adult organisations for housing assistance.

You may be entitled to a deposit with help from the leaving care team.

Useful contacts

  • Christian Action is a housing association that assists young people with advice and accommodation
  • Origin assist single non-priority homeless people and students aged 18 and over in housing need or considered to be vulnerable with low support needs and a local connection to Enfield

Find out about support we offer for children entering or leaving care.

When you know you are going to leave the armed forces and will be in need of accommodation, you should start exploring your options as soon as possible. This can be as early as six months before you leave when the Ministry of Defence gives you a certificate of cessation of entitlement, which has the date you will stop being entitled to forces accommodation. We will carry out an assessment of your circumstances to determine what type of help may be offered.

Other organisations you can approach for help with your housing issues:

  • Veterans' Gateway is the first point of contact for veterans seeking support. This service is for veterans and their families to connect with the help, advice and support they need from a network of organisations. The team of advisors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and many are veterans themselves. Telephone: 0808 802 1212.
  • SSAFA provides practical and emotional support for serving personnel, veterans and military families across the UK and worldwide

We can help and advise you if you’re going into hospital, or have already been admitted and think you will not have suitable accommodation to return to when you are discharged.

We can help with:

  • trying to prevent you from becoming homeless
  • making your accommodation more suitable
  • helping you move in a planned way
  • looking at alternative housing options

You should get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity if you know you’re going to be admitted to hospital and think your accommodation will no longer be suitable.

If you are in hospital

Your hospital is required to notify us if they consider you to be homeless or at risk of homelessness. With your consent they can make a referral to us, providing details of how we can contact you.

Once we receive a completed referral, our Shelter team will contact you to provide advice and assistance.

If you receive Housing Benefit you can continue to receive this for up to 52 weeks while you are receiving care in hospital, as long as:

  • you usually live in the accommodation that you’re temporarily away from
  • you intend to return to this accommodation when you’re discharged from hospital
  • you don’t rent out (sublet) your accommodation whilst you're away

If you’re in receipt of Universal Credit you can receive this for up to six months. You must inform Universal Credit if you become an inpatient in hospital and when you are discharged from hospital.

If you're in custody and already have accommodation you are renting, there are steps you should take to try to make sure you don’t lose this.

If you receive Housing Benefit to assist you in paying your rent, you must tell the Housing Benefit service if you’re:

  • remanded into custody
  • sentenced
  • released

You will only get Housing Benefit to help towards your rent if you intend to return home when you're released from prison. You may get Housing Benefit if you're remanded into custody, sent to prison or given home detention curfew. How long you get Housing Benefit for depends on your circumstances.

If you're on bail and need to live elsewhere, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit to help pay the rent on your normal home until your court hearing, for up to 52 weeks.

If you're serving a prison sentence, your partner can claim Housing Benefit to pay the rent on your home if they're living in the property.

If you're not in receipt of Housing Benefit you will need to make a new claim.

If you receive Universal Credit whilst on remand, on bail or sentenced, you can continue to get the housing cost element of Universal Credit for up to six months. However, once you are sentenced you will not get Universal Credit if you are likely to be in prison for more than six months, including time already spent on remand or awaiting sentencing.

Also, you will not get help with housing costs if they were not included in your Universal Credit claim before you were sentenced.

Whilst in prison

You should continue to pay your rent and other essential bills such as Council Tax. If you'll be homeless when you leave prison, you should start exploring your housing options as soon as you know you're going to be released.

If you're in prison, the prison is required to notify us if they consider you to be homeless or threatened with homelessness. With your consent they can make a referral to us providing details of how we can contact you.