Housing

 

With its vibrant and multi-cultural local community, Southwark is a great place to live.

 

On this page you will find information on the different housing options and services available to residents within Southwark.

 

Please find further information and support services for Housing in Southwark below.

 

Deciding to leave home and live independently is a big decision.

Although you'll have more freedom, you'll also have new responsibilities.

If you do feel ready to move out then the best way to do so is after careful thought and planning. Find out what your options are and ask for advice before making any decisions. You can get advice from trusted adults and from support services in Southwark.

If you'd like more information on leaving home, you can read the Leaving Home Booklet (pdf, 666kb)

More information on leaving home as a young person in Southwark is available here Housing Support Services

If you are feeling unsafe at home and would like information and support, The Hide Out can help, click here. 

 

There is a Housing Options Service which is available to everyone in Southwark with a housing problem. They have a range of services to help and advise you.

They understand that it isn't easy to get council housing, and so work with many types of providers to help you to understand your options and find the home you need as quickly as possible.

You can click here to complete the online self assessment. This will help you find out where on the priorities list you would be depending on your situation and the urgency of your need.

For details of housing options available to people with learning disabilities, take a look at Mencap's Housing FAQs  

You can also download the No Place Like Home guide (pdf, 1.8mb) from Preparing for Adulthood further information.

 

Handyperson Service

How can we help?

If you have a disability, or are aged over 60 and need some help with repairs in your home, help is at hand with Southwark Council’s handyperson service. Our friendly and professional team can carry out repairs and adaptations to help you live safely and independently in your home. And because our team are employed by the council you can rest assured that the work will be carried out to a high standard, and you don’t need to worry about the rogue tradesmen or large bills.

We can help you if you are a home owner, council tenant or renting privately. If you work in a health or social care team you can refer clients to us and we’ll make sure that their home is safe and helps them stay warm and healthy.

What we can do for you?

  • Moving furniture
  • Hanging or taking down curtains
  • Taping down carpets and electrical leads
  • Changing lightbulbs
  • Putting up shelves
  • Reglazing small windows
  • Fixing minor plumbing or electrical faults
  • Bleeding radiators
  • Fixing draught excluders

But it doesn’t end there; give us a call to find out what we can do! Unfortunately we can’t help with gas servicing, major building work, decorating or gardening.

How much does it cost?

The price you pay depends on your circumstances:

  • £10 plus cost of materials if you are on benefits
  • £20 plus cost of materials if you are not on benefits

We offer extremely competitive rates so if you have a repair in your home, please get in touch with any questions and we would be more than happy to advise you on the charges.

If you are a council tenant we can carry out repairs that are included in your tenancy agreement at no charge. Work that isn’t covered in your tenancy agreement is charged at a fair rate.

To find out more, make an appointment or refer someone to us who you think will benefit from our service, call us on 

Tel: 020 7525 1863

Email: handyperson@southwark.gov.uk

 

Home Improvement Agency

The Service

We provide repairs/renovations for owner occupiers and private tenants with repair responsibilities as well as disabled adaptations for owner occupiers, private tenants and housing association tenants,
 

Who is the service for?

Over 60’s, people of any age in receipt of a disability benefit.

Criteria for access to service

People can refer themselves or via occupational therapy.

Do you need to pay for this service?

The repairs, renovations and adaptations are provided by way of a grant. All grants are means tested. However, people on passporting benefits automatically qualify.

Fees do apply for the service but this is an allowable expense on the grants. Some people may have to make a financial contribution.

For more information please call:  0207 525 1873

 

Homesearch Bidding Support

Citizens Advice Southwark offer Homesearch Bidding Support sessions which are held every Thursday 10am-1pm for those who cannot use or access computers and who need support in registering for Homesearch or bidding on properties. The sessions provide help with:

  • Registering for Homesearch
  • Online bidding
  • Getting a My Southwark account

This is held at:

Bells Garden (SGTO) Community Centre,
Buller Close,
Peckham SE15 6UJ

Please note Citizens Advice Southwark are unable to provide specific housing advice for children and young people with Special Education Needs or Disabilities (SEND). For such advice, please contact:

Tel: Southwark Housing Options on 020 7525 5950
Email: housing.options@southwark.gov.uk

 


Help if you are homeless

Finding yourself with nowhere to live or the risk of being made homeless is both frightening and stressful. Southwark Council wants to help you by preventing homelessness from occurring wherever possible so that you can avoid the worry of this difficult situation.

It is advisable to make contact with Southwark Council's Housing Option Advisors if you are worried about being made homeless within 28 days. Housing Option Advisors can be contacted on 0207 525 5950 or on housing.options@southwark.gov.uk

While Southwark Council tries to help everybody who approaches with homelessness, however sometimes there isn't enough resources available to provide temporary or emergency accommodation. 

For more information about your rights and our responsibilities or for independent advice see the Shelter website.

Are you intentionally homeless?

What 'intentionally homeless' means: being intentionally homeless means that you are homeless because you left an accommodation that you could have stayed in. If your last home was temporary or short-term, the council looks into the reasons you left your last 'settled home'.

When deciding if you are or aren't intentionally homeless, the council must consider the reasons you became homeless. It's up to the council to prove that you became homeless intentionally and that:

  • You did, or failed to do, something that caused you to leave your home
  • The act, or failure to act, was deliberate or you were aware of what was going on
  • It was reasonable for you to continue living in your accommodation

You have the right to explain your actions to the council in relation to your housing situation.

Some examples of making yourself intentionally homeless includes:

  • Not paying your rent when you could have - however not being able to pay your mortgage because of significant financial difficulties that were out of your control i.e illness and redundancy will not be considered as intentional. 
  • Evicted because of antisocial behaviour
  • You could have stayed in your accommodation

When you are not intentionally homeless?

If you acted in good faith or weren't aware of something that caused you to become homeless, the council should accept that it's not intentional.

For example if:

  • you left your accommodation because you didn't know you had a right to stay, for example you left your home because your landlord gave you notice even though you could have stayed until a possession order was issued
  • you left your home because of misleading advice
  • someone you live with did or didn't do something, for example a family member you live with didn't pay the rent but they told you they had

The council decides you are intentionally homeless

If the council decides that you intentionally caused your homelessness, it only has a duty to provide you with short-term accommodation, usually for 28 days.

For more information visit Shelter's website.

The council decides you're not intentionally homeless

If the council decides that you are not intentionally homeless, it probably has a duty to provide you with long-term accommodation.

 

Applying for a council home

There is, however, a shortage of council housing in this area, so it's not possible to house everyone who joins the register. Because of this those with the most urgent housing needs are given priority.

The Southwark Housing Allocation Scheme leaflet provides information on how the council prioritise and allocate housing to those on the housing list.

To be considered to join Southwark’s Social Housing waiting list you will first need to complete an online Housing Options assessment. It takes up to about 20 minutes to complete and once completed it will generate a reference number. Please keep this reference number safe.

  1. Complete the assessment
  2. Explore your housing options
  3. Follow your action plan

Please remember, you will not be offered an appointment unless you have:

  • Completed this online assessment first (and have your reference number)
  • Followed the action plan, and;
  • Your housing need is urgent

Not everyone who completes the assessment will be offered an appointment. This is because we may not be able to offer any further advice than that already provided through your action plan. However please note that you have a right to make a homelessness application if you believe you are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

To complete the assessment, please click here

Bidding for a property

Once you are registered on the waiting list you can start bidding for a property you want. There's no money involved; a bid is simply the way you express an interest in that particular property.

You can find out more information about the bidding process and bid for properties on the Southwark Homesearch website.

If you need support completing the Housing Options assessment/registering with Homesearch, please contact Southwark Citizens Advice Bureau.