Homeless advice

What to do if you think you will be homeless

If you are at risk of becoming homeless, the local authority is required to provide you with appropriate advice. They must meet this obligation within 56 days. This applies whether you are single or a family.

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

If you are at risk of homelessness

If you think you are going to be homeless it is important to contact us as soon as possible. Please use our homeless enquiry form.

Completing the form will help prevent you from becoming homeless. It will 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 other housing problems, we'll try to help. 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 can't prevent you becoming homeless, or you decline the options we offer, we'll assess your situation under homelessness law.

If you're placed in emergency accommodation, 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.

We're unlikely to 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.

If you're placed in emergency accommodation, and then temporary accommodation, it will probably be outside London. This is due to the shortage of housing in London.

Appointments will be made with your allocated housing advisor between 9am - 4pm. If you need an appointment 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 people. Therefore 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.
  • The Sanctuary scheme for victims of domestic or other violence. The service installs security measures into their properties.

Support services

The Firm Foundation

This charity normally runs a single homeless drop-in service. 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: