How to help a client with Leave to Remain find new accommodation

  • This Biggest issue in Southampton. CLEAR can’t help.
  • Go to CLEAR or Gateway (one stop service at Southampton City Council) to find out about housing benefit. (Gateway won’t help anyone without children). Get form from Gateway then go to CLEAR who will help you fill in form.
  • Use internet for general information on letting opportunities (e.g. can be useful), as well as individual letting agents’ sites or sites that cover lots of individual agents (e.g. ). If using agent, bear in mind that you usually pay fees, require a months rent in advance, a deposit etc.
  • Rent Deposit Scheme (funded by churches) might be an option. You need to tell them you are looking for a property to see if funds are available.
  • Rules on housing benefit have recently changed – if you are under 35, you are only entitled to housing benefit for a shared room. You are not entitled to housing benefit for own flat unless over 35 (changed from 25). £63 per week available. Many need to top this up, as so little accommodation available at this price.
  • Street Homeless Team works with single people. Team will look for housing on behalf of clients – have links with landlords etc. Vulnerable but without children (poor health, elderly) will be prioritised. Useful if visitor can support client with visit to the SHT as not based in a nice area. Client needs to continue to visit as this will improve their chances of accessing help (to emergency hostels etc). Open every week day. Once client has a place in a hostel, they can remain until they are able to move on to something else – probably a shared house
  • Refer via mental health teams if necessary, Solent Mind Floating Housing Support will work with client if they have diagnosed mental illness – will help to support, find accommodation.
  • If people on Assist leave their rented room, could we transfer those that move on to housing benefit to the vacant room? Unlikely. Landlords don’t always accept housing benefit – although some have been persuaded in the past. Once on housing benefit, lots have stayed in original room with landlord SWVG initially found for them – more of an issue for those where this can’t happen. Often landlords don’t like those on housing benefit as much less reliable than SWVG payments. Not possible for SWVG to be guarantor.
  • Go to Gateway for housing register form – yellow book application for housing association and council housing – both go through council. If client has special needs, put as much detail as why they couldn’t cope in multiple occupancy house. They will then be visited to assess their needs for housing. Can be helpful to provide support to client here.
  • Nightstop (Southampton) is quite mixed. Can be difficult, challenging environment, but you do get your own room. They are able to provide temporary housing for young or vulnerable people (including women that have experienced domestic violence) with a family.

Last Updated: 27/03/2019 – Next Update Due: