Finding accommodation



If you feel that you could soon be homeless, you need to act now to prevent it happening.

It’s important that you have realistic expectations. Private rental accommodation in London can be expensive, and council housing is in short supply. This might mean that to get the sort of housing you want and can afford, you might have to move out of London.

You can see the average private rent prices for London post codes on the Mayor of London website.

How to prevent yourself becoming homeless

Here are some schemes and websites that can help you:

New Leaf, Preventing Homelessness in the Private Rented Sector

The New Leaf project provides early intervention to prevent homelessness if you're living in the Private Rented Sector. New Leaf can help if you're at risk of losing your home due to a change in circumstances.This could include relationship breakdown, redundancy, a change in benefits, illness or someone joining or leaving your household.  New Leaf aims to work with you as soon as you are at risk of losing your tenancy, before you have sought advice from local authorities, and if possible before your landlord has served a Section 21 Notice.  New Leaf will provide you with low-needs floating support, assistance in maximising your income, and offer advice and mediation to sustain your tenancy. 

Contact Baljit Sheemar, Homelessness Prevention & Support Team Leader by emailing or telephone Baljit on 07973 968179.

Visit the East London Housing Partnership website for more information.

Our online services

  • Apply for council housing - our council homes are in very short supply, so we have to allocate homes in an order of priority. We suggest you try other options as well as applying for council housing.
  • Affordable Home Ownership - there are a number of schemes available that can help you own a home.

Affordable Rent Schemes

  • Intermediate Rent  - allowing you to rent a brand new or refurbished home for approximately 20% less than the market rate
  • Rent to Save – helping you save on rent for up to five years with the opportunity to put these savings towards a deposit to buy your home
  • First Steps –helping you to find a home to rent. Rents are generally 15% to 35% less than typical rent levels in that area. You’ll need to register on the site first, then look for affordable rents by setting the search filter to ‘rental’.  You can also find out about shared ownership on the site.

Rent from a private landlord

These websites list homes to rent from private landlords:

You can read about the laws applying to private renting, on the government’s GOV.UK

Finding accommodation - downloadable guides

We've produced a set of guides to help you.

Temporary accommodation Click to get info

Temporary accommodation

If you feel you need temporary accommodation, your first step is to contact us. We will see then carry out an assessment of your circumstances in line with legislation under the Housing Act.

Unfortunately, there’s a shortage of suitable, available accommodation in London. If you’re eligible for temporary accommodation, please be aware that it will probably be outside London. We can’t tell you how long you’re likely to be there, but we understand that it’s not an ideal situation for you.

If you need temporary accommodation, we will:

  • try to make an offer on private rented accommodation for you
  • put you on the Housing Register, so you that you can bid on council homes

Find out what happens if you receive an offer for temporary accommodation (170KB PDF)

If we offer you temporary accommodation it will be a one-offer deal only. This means that if you refuse it, we may discharge our duty towards you.

Find out how we allocate temporary accommodation: Temporary accommodation allocations policy (PDF 400KB)

Support for people in temporary accommodation

If you’ve been placed in a temporary home and need help settling in, we can help you with any of the following:

  • applying for council tax support
  • applying for housing benefit
  • debt and money problems
  • registering for healthcare
  • education/finding work

Eligibility criteria

You may be eligible for support if you: 

  • have dependent children
  • are pregnant                                           
  • have a mental illness or health condition                                           
  • are fleeing domestic violence
  • have a physical disability or illness                 
  • have a drug or alcohol problem                                   
  • have learning difficulties
  • are placed outside the borough  

We can work with you for up to six months. 

If you think this applies to you, please email or phone 020 8496 4197.

Living outside Waltham Forest

If we place you in a temporary home outside the borough, there are a few things you’ll need to know:

  • your rent is your responsibility
  • you must register in your new borough for Council Tax  and apply there for Council Tax Support
  • you may need to re-register with a GP
  • you will need to find out where you nearest hospital is
  • your social care support will now come from the services in your new borough
  • you must apply for free school meals in your new borough
  • you must claim Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit at your new Jobcentre
  • if you’re registered with social services or a health care provider, you must tell them when you move to your temporary home

If you have children you may need to:

  • register for school places
  • find your local children’s centre

Find your local authority
Find your local hospital and health care
Find your local children’s centre
Find your local school