Getting in touch
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.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): new arrangements
St Aldates Chambers is closed in line with social distancing advice from the government. However, we intend to continue to deliver our service over the phone to all customers who need housing advice and assistance.
If you are at risk of becoming homeless and would like some advice, please contact our call centre on 01865 249811 who will arrange a phone appointment with an Options officer.
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.
Seeking alternative accommodation
Before seeing us you should try to find alternative accommodation yourself. If you are relying on housing benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit to pay some or all of 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.
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 you from becoming homeless or to end your homelessness, and that you must co-operate with any efforts we make to help you.
You can find out more about the steps we or you must take to prevent or end homelessness in our Homelessness prevention leaflet.
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
- birth certificate
- a document confirming your National Insurance number
- photo driving licence
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
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.
Discharge of duty into the private rented sector
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 take into account in determining the suitability of accommodation.
Independent housing advice
If you would like independent advice on your housing situation you can contact one of the advice agencies in the city.
Agnes Smith Advice Centre, 96 Blackbird Leys Road (phone 01865 770206)
Barton Advice Centre, Barton Neighbourhood Centre, Underhill Circus (phone 01865 744165)
Oxford Citizens Advice, 95-96 St Aldate's (phone 03444 111 444)
Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre, Rose Hill Community Centre, Carole’s Way (phone 01865 438634)