Sue James, Baroness Hale, Cllr Sue Fennimore and Cllr Stephen Cowan standing inside the new H&F Law Centre premises at Hammersmith Library

Law Centre can help with housing issues during coronavirus outbreak

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L-R: Sue James, Baroness Hale, Cllr Sue Fennimore and Cllr Stephen Cowan at H&F Law Centre in 2018

Hammersmith & Fulham’s free legal advice service is busier than ever during the coronavirus outbreak.

Face-to-face sessions have been suspended, but Hammersmith & Fulham Law Centre is still fielding inquiries on the phone.

“We’re still very much open,” said centre director Sue James, who has specialised in housing issues for two decades. “There’s still a real need for advice.”

Employment issues

Top of the current list of inquiries is employment issues. “A lot of people have been made redundant, or furloughed,” said Sue, adding that there had also been a lot of calls on housing issues, including contractual questions.

“We’ve had questions from people living in accommodation where the landlord still insists on having people around, and there’s a real problem with social distancing,” she said. “We’re dealing with real-life issues.”

The H&F Law Centre’s free legal advice service is supported by Hammersmith & Fulham Council, which provides space on the first floor of Hammersmith Library in Shepherds Bush Road. Its new offices were opened by the then President of the Supreme Court, Baroness Hale.

Lorraine Thompson, Sue James, Cllr Stephen Cowan and Cllr Sue Fennimore standing in a group on the pavement outside Hammersmith Library
L-R: Lorraine Thompson, Sue James, Cllr Stephen Cowan and Cllr Sue Fennimore outside Hammersmith Library

Lockdown schedule

Since the coronavirus lockdown rules came into force, the centre’s legal experts have worked from home, with specific afternoons (2pm to 5pm) set aside for different areas of inquiry.

  • On Mondays, EU Settlement Scheme application queries are dealt with on 020 8148 5273.
  • Tuesdays are set aside for immigration and asylum issues, on 020 3934 8060.
  • Wednesdays, it’s housing and homelessness on 020 8148 5274.
  • Thursdays, it’s welfare benefits & Universal Credit on 020 8148 5272.

More advice

The centre, which is still seeking grant funding while offering pro bono support to residents, also handles general queries at any time. Please email: hflaw@hflaw.org.uk or call 020 3880 1727.

Solicitors’ advice is also available to community groups.

“The system seems to be working well,” said Sue. “We also run the Hammersmith & Fulham Advice Forum, so we’re well connected with the advice sector.”  

The law centre has been running for more than 40 years. For more details about its services visit the Hammersmith & Fulham law Centre's website.

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