If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless

Getting in touch and further advice

If you are homeless or concerned about the possibility of losing your home, it is extremely important that you seek advice at the earliest opportunity.

Arrangements for appointments

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and would like some advice, please contact our call centre on 01865 249811. You will be directed to the team that is best suited to help you.

If you require a phone appointment you will receive a call at the time of the booked appointment. Please ensure your phone is charged and you are in a private area to discuss your housing need.

Please follow this link “Before your Appointment” to see the information and documents that you will need to bring with you.

Seeking alternative accommodation

Before seeing us, you we encourage you to take steps to find alternative accommodation. There is lots of advice about help that is available on our Housing Advice pages.

This includes advice

  • If you are having problems in your private rented sector tenancy or need to find new private rented accommodation
  • If you have been asked to leave by friends or family
  • If you are having financial difficulties

If you are relying on housing benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit to pay some or all your rent, this is unlikely to cover the cost of renting privately in Oxford - you may need to look further away from the city to find an affordable property. Current local housing allowance rates can be found for each area at Directgov - Local Housing Allowance Rates.

Shortage of Social Housing

Supply of council and housing association accommodation is extremely limited in Oxford. We are often unable to secure this type of housing even for people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

We can discharge our duties to homeless applicants through suitable private rented sector offers. The Homeless Discharge into the Private Rented Sector Policy explains matters that we consider in determining the suitability of accommodation.

Oxford has a shortage of Social Housing which means that:

There are currently 2780 people waiting on the housing register but only 490 properties become vacant each year. Applicants with low need who require a one bed or a property with three or more bedrooms can expect to wait around 10-20 years.

We follow a legal system that prioritises people by need. Even those assessed with the highest need may wait a very long time.

So it is important to consider other options to resolve your housing issues. Please see our Housing Advice pages.

Preventing homelessness

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 means that we have duties to prevent and relieve homelessness.

It also means that you must take action to prevent yourself from becoming homeless or to end your homelessness, and that you must work with us to achieve this.

You can find out more about the steps we or you must take to prevent or end homelessness in our Homelessness prevention leaflet.

Aspire - homelessness prevention service

Aspire Oxford's homelessness prevention service can help you from becoming homeless by giving you support before you reach crisis point. You can get help by calling Aspire on 01865 204450 or emailing housing@aspireoxford.co.uk.

Independent housing advice

If you would like independent advice on your housing situation you can contact one of the advice agencies in the city:

Out of hours emergency contact

In an out of hours emergency, you can call us through the Emergency Duty Team on 0800 833 408.

Housing Needs Team

Town Hall, St Aldate's, Oxford, OX1 1BX
Telephone:01865 249811

Before your appointment

Help us to help you. Be prepared.

So we can assess your situation more effectively, you may be asked to provide some or all of the following documentation when you attend your appointment:

Proof of your identity:

  • Long birth certificate
  • passport
  • a document confirming your National Insurance number
  • photo driving licence
  • Biometric residence card
  • Proof of settled status

Details of your income:

  • recent statements of all bank and building society accounts (including current and any savings accounts) held by you and, if relevant, your household
  • if you are employed, payslips for the last five weeks or two months, depending on whether you are paid weekly or monthly
  • proof of all benefits you get

If you have a child or are expecting a child:

  • a full birth certificate for any child who is to be included in your application for housing
  • any divorce or separation papers that show arrangements concerning children
  • a maternity certificate or hospital notes confirming your pregnancy, which should clearly show your estimated due date
  • Proof of Child Benefit

If you are renting a home:

  • the tenancy agreement that you were given at the start of your tenancy
  • any other contract that you were given later
  • if you do not have a written tenancy agreement, a rent book or letter from your landlord confirming the tenancy
  • the notice issued by your landlord to vacate the property

If your home is to be sold:

  • confirmation from your solicitor of the sale of your property detailing the value of the property, the amount of mortgage still outstanding and the amount of capital you are likely to receive when the property is sold

Legal action to repossess your home:

  • the court summons for possession with details of the application for possession
  • any court order for possession
  • any bailiff's warrant for possession

To understand the impact of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will use the information you provide to us when you ask us to help you. This information will be used to research what causes homelessness and how well homelessness services meet peoples’ needs. More information can be found in our homelessness data privacy notice.