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Housing advice and homelessness prevention

We cannot offer a council home to most people who apply. Even those in the greatest need may wait several years to be offered accommodation. Realistically, you will be better off looking to rent from a private landlord. If you are on a low income you may be able to get help with rent payments by claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit

Our priority is to prevent you from becoming homeless in the first place, by negotiating with your landlord to help you stay in your current property or helping you quickly find other accommodation generally in the private rented sector if that is not possible. 

The following organisations can help you if you are already or about to be homeless, sleeping rough or need legal advice. 

Shelter are the UK's homeless and housing charity and offer a wide range of help and advice.  

No second night out aim to help those who are rough sleeping in London for the first time find an alternative.  

Barking and Dagenham Citizens Advice Bureau offer legal advice to those facing becoming homeless. 

Streetlink will help those already sleeping rough, so you can tell them if you are worried about someone. 

There is a shortage of social (council) housing in London, but other areas across the UK have more availability. Homefinder UK helps those already on the council waiting list or who are homeless, find permanent social housing.     

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How we can help

If you are worried that you may become homeless, will help you to:

  • understand your legal rights
  • stay in your current home by offering help with benefits and debt advice
  • understand how you may be able to secure accommodation in the private rented sector
  • apply for social housing if you are eligible
  • find short stay emergency accommodation (in very limited circumstances)

If you have received an eviction notice or been asked to leave your current accommodation please contact us on 020 8724 8323, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.     

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Depending on your circumstances, there are a number of ways you can prevent yourself from becoming homeless.

You should surround yourself with people who can support and care for you if ever you need help.

If you have a landlord, you should keep in contact with your landlord even if you are in rent arrears. You may be able to agree an arrangement for clearing the arrears. Ensure that you keep to the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement and do what is expected of you as a responsible tenant.

Make sure you manage your money and try to keep some savings in case of an emergency.

Help with Money and Debt

You should not leave your home until you have secured accommodation elsewhere. 

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There are very few council housing properties available in the borough but there are other types of housing tenancies available.

Find out about private rented accommodation 

Find about affordable housing in Barking and Dagenham  

Find about social housing across the UK  

Find out about government help with home or shared ownership 

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If you are on a low income you may be entitled to help with benefits and/or affordable housing. You can use a benefit calculator to estimate your entitlement.

Benefit calculators

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Affordable housing provides more affordable rented accommodation for working households where rents may be 65% or 85% of typical rent levels in that area.

Our aim is to offer housing choices to residents in the borough who are in employment but can’t afford to buy or rent privately and have limited access to social housing.

Our affordable housing register can be found at Affordable Lettings.

Affordable housing register 

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Council tenants can use HomeSwapper mutual exchange register to search for suitable properties in their chosen area. Registration is free for Barking and Dagenham council tenants.

Housing Advice Service

John Smith House, Bevan Avenue, Barking IG11 9LL

020 8724 8323

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Find out about eligibility and how to apply for council housing.

Applying for council housing