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Move from social housing into private renting

The Lewisham Fresh Start scheme enables Lewisham tenants and Lewisham overcrowded or homeless housing applicants to move into the private rented sector. It is a self-help scheme and applicants need to be proactive in looking for suitable properties in the private sector.
Repairs booking problems

We are currently experiencing issues with our repairs booking system and can only respond to emergency repairs.

We apologise for the inconvenience and are working to get the system up and running as soon as possible

Who can apply

You can apply for the Fresh Start scheme if you are:

  • a Lewisham Council tenant registered as overcrowded
  • on the housing waiting list and priority homeless
  • on the housing waiting list as an overcrowded applicant.

You can’t apply if you have:

  • serious rent arrears
  • a history of neighbourhood dispute or antisocial behaviour.

What support you can get

The Fresh Start scheme gives you financial support of up to £2,650, which could include:


To access the scheme, your new landlord must give you a minimum one-year assured shorthold tenancy. They must also give us:

  • gas and electrical safety certificates
  • an energy performance certificate
  • evidence that they use a rent deposit scheme

You must join the Lewisham Plus Credit Union so we can make payments to your new landlord.

How to apply

Download the application form below. Complete the form and email it to initiatives@lewisham.gov.uk.   

Housing benefit

If you claim housing benefit and it doesn’t cover the total cost of your rent, you are responsible for paying the difference.

Make sure you know how you might be affected by changes to the benefits system, including the benefit cap and universal credit.


Fresh Start

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