Worried about becoming homeless?



COVID-19 update

Waltham Forest Housing has closed the reception area at Cedar Wood House.

During this period of closure all our services will be conducted via email and telephone. In order to safeguard our residents we are asking only those that require immediate assistance to contact us.


If you feel you're at risk of becoming homeless, please don't wait until you have nowhere to stay.

The help we can give is specific to your personal situation. It can range from giving you advice and guidance specific to you, to offering you temporary or permanent accommodation.

Get housing help now

Please use our new online help tool to get help straight away.

Just answer a few questions about your situation and it will explain your housing options and tell you what to do next. It will tell you if you need to come in to see us urgently and what you need to bring.

Get housing help now

Situations that can lead to homelessness

We can help you in many situations that could put you at a risk of becoming homeless. These include:

  • your landlord asking you to leave
  • friends or family members you live with asking you to leave
  • rent arrears
  • mortgage arrears
  • discrimination, harassment and illegal eviction
  • relationship breakdown
  • Housing Benefit issues
  • domestic violence issues
  • ... and more...

Am I entitled to help?

English law says that every eligible person at risk of homelessness is entitled to 56 days of help from their council to prevent them becoming homeless.

If you're at risk of homelessness then you're automatically entitled to this help - provided you're not subject to immigration control.

The law that states this is the Homeless Reduction Act (2017), which was introduced in April 2018.

What help will I get?

A Housing Officer will assess your circumstances and support needs and offer you tailored advice and help you stay in your current home or find alternative accommodation before you become homeless. If we decide you're in 'priority' need we may offer you temporary accommodation.

What happens if I become homeless?

There are different rules for people who are homeless. Please see our homelessness page.

For every member of your household, please bring:

  • proof of identity, such as a passport, birth certificate or Home Office documents
  • any information related to why you're homeless, such as a notice to quit or notice of eviction from your landlord, or anything else relevant
  • proof of your income, such as benefits or payslips

If these situations are relevant to you, or a member of your household:

  • if you have a medical condition that affects your housing needs, please bring a doctor's/ hospital letter
  • if you can't come in because of a physical disability, please email and we will arrange to come to you
  • if you've recently been discharged from the military, please bring your discharge papers
  • if you're subject to MAPPA, please bring your risk assessment
  • if you've been released from long-term prison sentence, please bring your release papers or any documents relating to conditions of your release
  • if you're a care leaver, please bring a letter from your social worker

The law is complicated regarding finances and who can remain in the home when a couple splits up. A specialist advisor or solicitor can look into your situation and make sure you don’t give up any rights you have. You can find a solicitor on GOV.UK.

What you need to do depends on whether:

  • you’re married
  • you're unmarried
  • you're in a civil partnership
  • what type of tenancy you have, if you rent
  • whether you own your home

The Citizen’s Advice website explains what happens to your home when you separate, giving clear advice for each situation.

If you’re worried that your situation at home might get worse and you could end up having to move out, please don't wait for that to happen.

We work as part of partnership with other east London boroughs on a project called New Leaf. Its aim is to help tenants before they lose their home.

New Leaf can mediate between you and your landlord, to help you keep your tenancy. The sooner you contact New Leaf, the more they can do for you.

To find out more, please contact Baljit Sheemar, Homelessness Prevention and Support Team Leader.

Email: Baljit.Sheemar@elhp.org.uk

Phone: 07973 968179

For further information on how to find a home, please download our guides:

Contact Housing Advice Click to get info

Email: housing.advice@walthamforest.gov.uk

Phone: 020 8496 3000

Out-of-hours phone: 020 8496 3000

In person:

Cedar Wood House
2d Fulbourne Road
Walthamstow E17 4GG

Opening hours:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9am to 4.30pm
  • Wednesday: 1pm to 4.30pm