Homelessness and rough sleepers

Coronavirus: service update
The following advice has changed during Covid, please see here for the latest advice. 



We agreed a new Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy in March 2019. The aim of the Strategy is to work closely with our partners to both prevent and resolve the problems faced by households at risk of homeless and to find long term sustainable and affordable housing solutions for those who are homeless. It also enshrines our aim to end street homelessness by 2022.

Our strategic aim is to see: “The council and its partners working collaboratively to prevent and reduce homelessness and to proactively end rough sleeping.”

We have identified three strategic priorities to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in the borough.

  1. End rough sleeping in Redbridge
  2. Support our most vulnerable residents through our early intervention and prevention services
  3. Increase the supply of affordable housing to prevent homelessness and to reduce the use of temporary housing

View the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy (PDF 2.08MB)

In September 2020 to reflect changes in our approach resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic we updated strategy.

View the update of the Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Strategy 2018-23 – Rough sleeping, covid 19 and next steps.

Get advice before you lose your home

If you think you are going to be homeless you should let us know as soon as possible. We will help to prevent you from becoming homeless and offer housing options. The earlier you can let us know about your housing problem, the more we can do. We cannot offer accommodation to most of the people applying to us, but we can offer housing advice about finding private sector accommodation.

If we are unable to prevent your homelessness, you should contact the Housing Advice Centre as soon as possible.

We will make an appointment for you to see a housing options officer. Your caseworker will interview you and assess you under homelessness law.

View the advice pages, including legal advice from the housing and homelessness charity Shelter


If you are eligible for a legal housing duty

If we decide we have a housing duty to you, we will offer accommodation in the private rented sector or temporary accommodation.

Temporary accommodation is likely to be in a bed and breakfast hotel, hostel, or self-contained accommodation which may not be in Redbridge.

Private rented sector accommodation will be an Assured shorthold tenancy which will be suitable for your housing needs.
If you refuse a suitable offer of accommodation without what is considered a good reason, the housing duty will end and you will have to find your own property.

We will register you for a council and housing association home. Demand for social housing in Redbridge is very high and considerably exceeds the available supply. This means applicants wait a long time before an allocation of permanent accommodation.

View the Housing waiting times

You are responsible for paying your rent and charges in full, for information on paying your rent visit the about rent page. If you fail to pay your rent or charges you risk losing your home.  If you are evicted the housing duty will come to an end and you will have to find your own property. We may also remove you from the Housing Register.


If we do not have a housing duty to you

We do not have a duty to provide a home for everybody. If we have no duty to find you a home, we will give you advice and information to help you in your search for accommodation. Find more information on renting privately and applying for social housing


Rough sleepers

If you are sleeping rough, Street Link are available to help and support you. Street Link will ask information about your situation and where you are sleeping rough. They will then help you access local support.

Tell someone about a rough sleeper

If you want to tell us about someone sleeping rough you can contact Street Link on 0300 500 0914 who will take note of all the information that you provide and arrange for the rough sleeper to get access to local services and support.

Help for rough sleepers

In Redbridge there are a number of agencies and accommodation providers offering advice, support and shelter to help rough sleepers get off the street.

These include:

  • a 16-bed hostel for rough sleepers (Jason Lee House)
  • the Welcome Centre where a range of services are available, including advice about health, benefits, a meal and washing facilities
  • ongoing support for rough sleepers who have been resettled
  • Redbridge outreach services will assess the needs and link you in with services to help you off the street

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