Cost of living: housing

How to get help if you face losing your home

Our housing experts have put together this list of straightforward, practical resources if you’re looking for information for the first time.

This page covers:

  • evictions
  • rent arrears
  • tenant's rights
  • how and when to make a homelessness application
  • other support if you are facing homelessness
  • support if you are sleeping rough
  • support for young people and families

Evictions: how to get help

If you’re being threatened with eviction,  your local district council  will be able help you draw up a personal housing plan. The aim of the plan is to try and make sure you have somewhere suitable to live for at least the next 4 months.

If you're looking for general advice and guidance around evictions,  this guide by Shelter can help.

Rent arrears


If you’re struggling with rent payments, this tool from Citizens Advice  may be able to help you with your budgeting.

It can be difficult to reach out for help but the sooner you begin talking about rent arrears the more can be done to help. There is some advice on contacting your landlord or letting agency from Step Change here, including some template letters which you may find useful.

Tenant's rights


It’s important to know your rights as a tenant, and this guide by Shelter  will help you understand them.

How and when to make a homelessness application


Homelessness is not having a home – it can mean:

  • Sleeping on the streets or living in temporary accommodation like a hostel, shelter or refuge, a B&B or squat.
  • Sofa surfing or living with friends or family as you have nowhere else to go.
  • If you are at risk of violence or abuse in your home or living in poor conditions that affect your health or living apart from your family because you don't have a place to live together.

You can ask for help from a local council  if you are homeless or at risk of becoming so within the next 8 weeks. This is called making a homelessness application - find out how to start the process here.

Local councils have a legal duty to help some people. Not everyone gets help with housing, some people just get advice on how to find a home.

Other support if you're facing homelessness


We know it can be hard to take the first step when you’re facing homelessness and feeling overwhelmed. If you are at urgent risk of becoming homeless, you can:

  • call our free helpline on 0800 567 7699
  • email helpline@porchlight.org.uk

Our friendly, experienced team will listen to you and offer information and advice to help guide you to finding the right support.

We offer specialist support for women who are homeless. Ask our advisers if you want to know more.

Support if you are sleeping rough

We can help you if you are rough sleeping, staying in a shelter, refuge, B&B, squat or hostel. We can also help if you are sofa surfing or living with friends or family because you have nowhere else to go. If you need support, you can:

Support for young people and families

We work with children, adolescents and their families with all kinds of needs. We can help with managing relationships, adjusting after leaving prison, problems that may be affecting someone's education. Find out more.