Homelessness: Advice and support
If you think you may become homeless, you should get advice as soon as possible. You can do this by contacting the Housing Advice Unit. You may also choose to contact an independent agency or a solicitor specialising in housing.
When you seek advice, you should take any documentation that is relevant to your situation. For example, your original tenancy agreement, court papers, correspondence from your landlord, housing benefit, or solicitor. Even if you do not have any papers, you should still get advice straightaway.
It is important to remember that the laws concerning housing are very complicated. The information here cannot explain everything; it is intended to provide a guide to give you an idea of what to expect.
The leaflet below gives some details about how the Council deals with applications for housing from people who are homeless, or soon to become homeless. It includes information about:
- how the Council can help you to keep your home
- how to get help if you do become homeless
- who is eligible for housing
- what sort of accommodation you may get if you are homeless
- what to do if you disagree with the Council's decision about your homelessness application
If you are worried about homelessness, please download our leaflet 'Worried about homelessness - how we can help' (591KB PDF file)
Rent Deposit Schemes
The Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme and Self Help Scheme have been developed by Waltham Forest Housing Services to help households find private rented accommodation if they have become, or are about to become, homeless through no fault of their own. The schemes help clients of Housing Services who cannot access private rented accommodation. Find out more.
Emergency contact number
If you have an emergency outside office hours, such as domestic violence, that means you are not safe to stay in your home, please call 020 8496 3000.
If you need help with spoken or written English, let us know and we can provide interpreters and/or translated information - for example if English is not your first language, or if you have sight and/or hearing disabilities.
Cedar Wood House is fully accessible for people with mobility disabilities, including wheelchair users, with ramped/level access, wide doors, and fully accessible toilets. There is also an Induction Loop for hearing aid users.
This information is available in the following languages:
The Homelessness Act 2002 introduced the requirement for local authorities to formulate and publish a Homelessness Strategy every five years based on the results of a Homelessness Review. Our first Homelessness Strategy was published in 2003, and this confirmed a shift in focus towards working to prevent homelessness and to provide support with a view to tenancy sustainment, rather than concentrating on the assessment process.
Considerable progress has been made in the intervening period in tackling the problem of homelessness.
Our 2003 review anticipated that in the lifetime of the strategy, from 2003-2008, approximately 6000 households would be accepted as homeless in London Borough of Waltham Forest.
Three years on, acceptances are falling steadily: 1025 in 2003-4, 800 in 2004-5, 769 in 2005-6 and just 696 in 2006-7. This is a testament to the success of our new strategic approach to dealing with homelessness, focussing on prevention, advice and options rather than operating as gatekeepers.
The Department for Communities and Local Government has said of this borough:
“The council’s strategic approach to homelessness is an area of strength for the Council and there is strong evidence that it acts as a ‘live’ strategy for both the council and its stakeholders”
Local authorities have a statutory duty to publish a Homelessness Strategy every five years, but Waltham Forest has decided to produce a new strategy just four years after the first one, in order that we can reflect changing priorities and work towards current national, regional and local objectives.
The principal aims of the strategy are:
- To prevent homelessness wherever possible
- To develop and promote alternative housing options
- To maintain and develop partnerships
- To promote tenancy sustainment
- To maximise the existing supply of social housing
- To increase the supply of settled accommodation
- To provide support for vulnerable groups
This document outlines the way we intend to address these issues. In addition, we will be producing an action plan covering detailed targets subject to quarterly and annual review.
Getting copies of the strategy
Copies of the strategy document and action plans can be downloaded by clicking on the link below
- Waltham Forest Homelessness Strategy, 2007 - 2012 (document ref: DP07-2186 PDF 2.58MB)
- Homelessness Strategy Action Plan 2010/11 (72KB PDF file)
These leaflets are all available free of charge, by downloading from this website, by post or in person from our office.
POhWER Information and Advice Service
We offer a range of free, confidential and independent information, advice and advocacy services to help people make choices about their lives, to understand their rights, to be treated as equals and to be heard. The service is available to any one who lives in Waltham Forest.
Some of the issues we can help with are:Benefits
You can visit us at our Information and Advice Centre based at:p
90 Crownfield Road
Telephone: 0208 221 2260p
Drop-in sessions on Tuesdays 10am-12pm and Thursdays 10am-12pm.p
We are also at the Customer Services Centre, 137 Hoe Street, London E17 4RT.
We have drop-in sessions there on Mondays from 9.30am-12pm and Thursdays from 1pm-4pm.p
You can contact us on the following details:
Telephone - 020 8221 2260
Minicom - 0300 456 2364
Text - send your name and number to 81025
Email - email@example.com
Fax - 0300 456 2365
Post: POhWER, 90 Crownfield Road, Leytonstone, London, E15 2BGp
Find out more on the website.