Homeless advice

What to do if you think you will be homeless

If you are at risk of becoming homeless, whether you are single or a family, the local authority is required within 56 days to provide you with advice on what help is available.

This is in accordance with the Homeless Reduction Act 2017. See the leaflet here: Duty to refer

If you think you are going to be homeless it is important to contact us as soon as possible via the homeless enquiry online form.

This will help us to prevent you from becoming homeless and enable you to take up any housing options that may be offered. See the 'Losing your home' leaflet.

If you have rent or mortgage arrears, issues related to repairs, or any other housing problem, we will try to help you. This leaflet has more advice.

Agency referrals

Agencies can refer a Harrow Household for assistance using the Duty to Refer form

Homeless assessment

If we are unable to prevent you from becoming homeless, or you do not take up any of the options we offer, we will assess your situation under homelessness law.

If the council has to place you in emergency accommodation when you become homeless, it could be in bed & breakfast or hostel accommodation. It will probably be outside of Harrow or even London.

If you have children or are pregnant and you are placed in bed and breakfast, we aim to keep your stay there to a minimum.

It is unlikely that we will offer accommodation to single adults or adult couples without dependent children. If this describes your situation you may have to find a room to rent in a shared house.

Due to the shortage of housing in London, if you are placed in emergency accommodation, and then temporary accommodation, it will probably be outside London.

Appointments will be made with your allocated housing advisor between 9am - 4pm. If you think you need one please call the assessment team via the contact details at the end of the page, or submit a Homeless Enquiry Form.

When are you 'homeless'?

‘Homeless’ means not having a home. The term covers more than just living on the streets; you can be homeless even if you have a roof over your head. For example if your only home is:

  • living with friends or family and they need you to leave
  • living in very short term accommodation such as a hostel, night shelter or B&B
  • when there is a risk of violence in your home
  • squatting (because you have no legal right to stay)
  • living in very poor conditions that affects your health, and that can’t be rectified
  • living apart from your family because you are all not allowed to live together in either of your homes

Housing options for homeless people

The earlier you can let us know about your housing problem, the more we can do. We cannot offer council accommodation to most of the people applying to us each year, so you may have to consider one of the following housing options:

  • Private rented accommodation: the Housing Advice Team can provide a comprehensive advice service to assist in seeking and securing private rented accommodation.
  • Low cost home ownership: a part buy/part rent scheme which enables people to get onto the housing ladder through buying a share in a home. For more information see the shared ownership page.
  • Get further information on finding a home from the Locata website.

We offer the following services

  • Mediation: an external mediation service designed to try to prevent homelessness wherever appropriate.  
  • Homelessness advice: a practical service for people who are at risk of losing their home for private renters and owner occupiers. If you think you may need this service please telephone the Housing Advice Team – contact details at the end of this page.
  • A scheme for victims of domestic or other violence who need additional security measures to be installed into their properties called Sanctuary

Support services

The Firm Foundation

The Firm Foundation charity normally runs a single homeless drop-in service where they provide advice on accommodation and support. For details visit Firm Foundation service

Bridge Floating Support

Support for people living with mental illness and older people. Contact details at end of page.


Support for people experiencing domestic abuse. They can be contacted in the following ways:

Homeless Assessment team

You can contact the Homeless Assessment team by completing the online form below. If you are homeless on the day or your enquiry is urgent, you can speak with a housing advice officer between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday on 0208 424 1093. For emergencies outside these hours, including weekends - calls to this number will be diverted to the Emergency Social Services duty officer who, will be able to assist you with your housing situation.

Telephone: 0208 424 1093

Firm Foundation service

Address: Trinity Church
Hindes Road

Telephone: 020 8426 5515

Bridge Floating Support

Telephone: 020 8427 8528