Tenants are referred to us by various organisations, including social services, HM Prisons and Local Authority Homeless Persons Units. Vast numbers of people are in housing need, especially in London. Many local authorities are unable to cope with the enormous demand for housing and those at risk of homelessness.
We do casework and provide information on tenants’ rights, particularly when there is confusion about eviction procedure: many tenants do not fully understand the various stages most landlords/ladies (other than for lodgers) seeking possession must go through, serving the correct notice in the right way (usually Section 21 or Section 8 of the Housing Act), then obtaining a possession order and getting a bailiff to carry out the eviction. This advice helps many tenants avoid eviction.
We liaise with local authorities who sometimes unjustifiably claim a tenant has become intentionally homeless, asking them to look at the case again. We also do outreach and run work experience and mentoring programs for those in social need and help build-up confidence through skills workshops and media projects.
We take food parcels to the homeless and can provide small grants to help in some circumstances.
We can only scratch the surface…but it makes a difference.