At risk of losing your home or already homeless

Already homeless?

If you are sleeping rough or have become homeless suddenly, please visit our Emergency housing page.

Preventing you from becoming homeless

If you are at risk of becoming homeless, you’ve come to the right place. The help and support we can provide will depend on your circumstances.

We've put together a simple housing journey map which shows the process we go through to work out how best to support your housing needs. Your housing journey (323KB pdf)

You can use the housing needs self service tool to find the best course of action for you.

Housing needs self-service

The homelessness process

The homelessness process can be quite long. If we accept a duty to you, you may be in temporary accommodation for many years. This is likely to be outside the borough. At the end of this wait, you will only be made one offer of a property. This could be in any location in the borough, or any type of property. If you refuse this, the council will no longer have a duty to re-house you.

Therefore, we will usually start by trying to prevent you from becoming homeless.

There are 4 main steps in this process:

  • Step 1: Showing us you are eligible and homeless or at risk

    When you call us, you will need to be able to prove that you are eligible for help (generally speaking, as a UK citizen or EU taxpayer, you are eligible) and are actually homeless or at risk. That may include a section 21 eviction notice or a letter confirming your circumstances. If you are already homeless and do not have a connection to Hammersmith and Fulham, we may refer your application to another authority.

  • Step 2: Getting an assessment and creating your Personal Housing Plan

    Once we have confirmed your eligibility and circumstances, you will meet with a caseworker to discuss your needs. You will then create your own Personal Housing Plan on how you will address your housing problems. The most likely option will be a home in the private rented sector. We can help in finding somewhere that meets your budget.

    What is a Personal Housing Plan?

    A Personal Housing Plan, or PHP, is a set of actions that you and the council will take together to solve your homeless situation.

    An initial Personal Housing Plan interview usually takes around two hours.

    If you don’t create a Personal Housing Plan, you can’t move forward with a homeless application.

  • Step 3: Working on your plan

    Over the following few weeks, you will be responsible for updating your plan and taking action. We will review the plan regularly.

    You will need to make sure you complete the ‘reasonable steps’ agreed in your plan.

    If you don’t, we may not be able to help you.

  • Step 4: Decision after 56 days

    If we are unable to solve your homelessness by the end of 56 days, we will then make a decision about whether we owe you the “Main Housing Duty”. For this, you need to be able to prove you pass five tests.

    1. Eligibility: This means you have the legal right to access public funds, and to work in the UK. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Eligibility’.
    2. Homeless: This means you don’t have a home, anywhere else in the world, where it would be reasonable for you to live. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Homeless’.
    3. Priority Need: This could mean because of a vulnerability, such as a health condition, or previously being a member of the armed forces, it is harder for you to find accommodation than someone else. It could mean because you have young children, you have a priority. It could mean, because you have lost your previous home through a disaster, such as a fire or flood, then the council needs to provide you with housing. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Priority Need’.
    4. Not Intentionally Homeless: If you have previously lost accommodation because of something you haven’t done (eg paying your rent), or because of something you have done (eg ASB), then the council may find you intentionally homeless. If we do, we don’t have to provide you with housing. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Intentionally Homeless’.
    5. Local Connection: You need to prove that you have a local connection to the Borough, such as living here for the last 6 months, or for three years out of the last five. More detail on the legal definition of ‘Local Connection’.

Other services we offer

Adapting your home

If you are at risk because your home is not suitable for your needs, please visit our Adapting homes page for support.

Finding a more suitable home

If you are currently a council tenant, please visit our Finding a more suitable home page to find out how we can help.

Duty to refer

If you are an organisation and have identified someone who may be at risk of homelessness, please refer them to us. See Duty to refer for more information. 

Contact us

Office hours 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

020 8753 4198, option 1 and option 1 again

Between 5pm and 9am Monday to Friday and all weekend, please call our emergency night and weekend housing service on 020 8753 4200. 

Your housing journey - how we can help you (323KB pdf)

Other housing related services

These services can provide advice and assistance in relation to your housing:

  • DWP helpline - can help with questions about universal credit on 0845 605 7064
  • H&F Benefits - can help with questions around your current benefits on 020 8753 6681
  • H&F link - for enquiries about the benefit cap on 020 8210 8200
  • Shelter - a national charity with housing advice on a range of issues
  • Citizen's Advice - independent advice and information about housing, benefits, debt, work and more
  • Centrepoint - specialist help and support for young people aged 16 to 25
  • HomelessLondon - helping people who are having difficulties or in danger of becoming homeless to find a home.