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Housing and homelessness advice during COVID-19 outbreak

Find out what support you can get with housing if you are having trouble due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
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How to get housing advice

Lewisham, like the rest of London and the country, is facing the severe effects of a housing crisis. With nearly 10,000 households on the Council’s housing waiting list, we cannot support everyone into council housing, but are working hard to deliver more genuinely affordable homes. Read more about estimated minimum waiting times for council housing.

For further online housing information and advice, fill out our questionnaire. It will only take a couple of minutes to complete and you will not be required to provide any personal information.

Assessing your housing situation

If you are at risk of homelessness, apply for assistance through the Housing Assistance Referral Portal. 

We will refer you to one of our Housing Solutions Officers who will assess your application by phone. We will work out what your needs are and give you advice on the next steps to take.

If you need urgent housing advice and are currently homeless, please contact our call centre on 0208 314 7007.

You may have received written or verbal notice from your landlord/ friend/ family member. If this has not already expired on the day that you call us, you will be directed to complete a self-referral form on the portal.

So that we can carry out our assessment, we may ask you to email a clear photo of a form of identification. Unless we see a form of identification, we may be unable to assist you fully.

We will need to see one of the following:

  • a valid passport
  • a full birth certificate

  • valid immigration documents.

Refer a client for housing advice

Refer a client for housing advice and support through our alert portal. If you are aware of anyone at risk, please complete the referral form and we will be in touch as soon as we can.

Housing services can also be contacted at:

Other key support services include:

  • Social Service: 020 8314 6000
  • Housing: 020 8314 7007
  • Lewisham Homes Income Team – 0800 028 2028
  • Regenter – 0207 635 1200
  • Resident parking: 020 8787 5397
  • Council tax: 020 8690 9666
  • Environmental Health: 020 8314 6536
  • Switchboard: 020 8314 6000

If you are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 we can offer support and advice. Contact the Housing Options Centre by emailing housingoptionsenquiry@lewisham.gov.uk or calling 020 8314 7007.

Choice-based lettings

We are still advertising and letting social homes. Visit our Find Your Home website to search the latest available properties.

Financial support

If you are having trouble paying your housing costs due to the COVID-19 outbreak you should contact your landlord, housing authority or managing agent and let them know. If you need to speak to someone about your housing situation, call the Housing Solutions Service on 0208 314 7007.

Advice for tenants

Tenants are still legally required to pay rent. There is no rent holiday. If you are having trouble paying your rent you should contact your landlord.

Get advice about dealing with debt from on the Citizens Advice website.

Find out what benefits you can claim on the Government's website.

The Government has also introduced support for tenants to ensure that no one is forced out of their home during this time. The measures include:

Find more details about the support available for landlords and renters reflecting the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on the Government's website.

If you are being harassed, or your landlord is threatening you with eviction, call 020 8314 9285 or email rogue.landlords@lewisham.gov.uk.

Email the Private Sector Housing Information service at pshe@lewisham.gov.uk for more information.

Information on eviction notices

The six month time limit applies to all section 21 evictions from 29 August 2020 up to 31st May 2021.  Any notices served after 1st June 2021 require a 4 month notice period. A section 21 notice is usually served by a landlord to end a private rented tenancy. If your landlord has recently served you with a notice, you can contact us for help on 0208 314 7007. Our Housing Solutions Service can speak to your landlord to try and help you keep your home. Check that the notice is legal by completing our questionnaire.

Eviction periods differ depending on individual circumstances. These can include people owing more than six months in rent arrears, or where there have been issues with antisocial behaviour or domestic violence.

If you have been served with a notice and need more advice:

Advice for rough sleepers

Contact Streetlink If you are currently rough sleeping or know someone who is rough sleeping that requires urgent assistance by visiting their website or call 0300 500 0914. Streetlink can help to connect a person to local services and help them find support.

Moving house

You are still able to move house and view properties to move into. 

Estate and lettings agents, removers, valuers and people in sales, lettings offices and show homes can continue to work. But they will need to change how they work to reduce the risk from COVID-19. This could include doing more online viewings, asking people to leave their property during viewings and making sure properties are cleaned before someone else moves in.