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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.

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. For further online housing information and advice, you can 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 homeless or at risk of homelessness, please call 0208 314 7007. 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.

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

The quickest way for partners to refer clients for support is 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:

  • housingoptionsenquiry@lewisham.gov.uk for families.
  • ship@lewisham.gov.uk for singles.

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

Choice-based lettings will reopen on 29 June. You can bid online for properties between 2–5 July. Request a copy of the newsletter by emailing homesearchsupport@lewisham.gov.uk.

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.

You can get advice about dealing with debt from Citizens Advice.

Find out what benefits you can claim.

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:

  • Guidance on recent changes to new possession proceedings can be found here.
  • The minimum notice periods tenants receive for evictions is now from three to six months. This rule will be in place in England until at least 31 March 2021, apart from in cases involving issues such as anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse. Please see more information on evictions notice periods in the below section.
  • Landlords to be protected as 3 month mortgage payment holiday is extended to ‘Buy to Let’ mortgages. Find more information about a mortgage holiday on the Residential Landlords Association’s website.

The Government has more details about support available for landlords and renters reflecting the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on their 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 notice periods

The six month time limit applies to all section 21 evictions from 29 August 2020. 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. You can also 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, you can contact:

Advice for rough sleepers

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

Advice for landlords and homeowners

The Government has introduced a range of measures to protect landlords and homeowners during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Managing council homes and estates

Our housing providers are Lewisham Homes, and Regenter B3. They provide services in line with government guidance.