Help with homelessness

Preventing homelessness and homelessness support

The Council can assist if you are homeless or worried about becoming homeless. Please get in touch as soon as you can in order to give our dedicated teams more time to help you.

We use national law and guidance to assess homelessness applications, including the Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities which is located on the government services and information website.

Everyone can get advice from the Council around their housing, but the amount of assistance we can give will be determined by a number of tests within the legislation that are applied to all homeless applications.

The homeless charity Shelter have provided these useful information sheets in order to know what to expect when applying to the council as homeless, or when applying as threatened with homelessness.

Preventing Homelessness

Because of the shortage of housing in Kensington and Chelsea, we cannot offer a house to everyone who approaches us with a housing problem. However, if you think you will become homeless, we will work with you to try to stop this from happening.

Everyone with a housing need will be contacted by a member of the Housing Solutions to discuss their options.

We can offer:

  • help and advice to people looking for somewhere to live
  • realistic, up-to-date and in-depth advice on housing and how to pay for it
  • a full housing option service covering private renting options and affordable ownership
  • help to keep your home
  • information on emergency accommodation that may be available for single people
  • personalised referrals to other agencies if we cannot help you

Finding more useful information:

Support for young people

If you are aged 16-17 and are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, or if you are not safe living in your home, please contact family and children services on 020 7361 3013 to get help with your situation. You can also email the Team at socialservices@rbkc.gov.uk

If you are aged 18 or over and you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, you should get in touch with the Housing Solutions Team as soon as possible by emailing housingsolutions@rbkc.gov.uk. The Team will provide you with advice and support with your housing situation by either helping you stay in your current accommodation if it is safe to do so, or by helping you find alternative accommodation. If you have a connection to the borough, and require support to live independently, the Team may try to find you a place in one of our supported accommodations/hostels. See more information about supported housing and hostels.

Prevention Duty

If you are eligible and threatened with homelessness within 56 days, we will have a duty to prevent your homelessness. A Local Authority has a Prevention Duty to you for a period of 56 days. This means we will try to secure accommodation that is available for your occupation. This will either be your current accommodation or somewhere else, and this is likely to be private rented accommodation.

Relief Duty

If you are eligible and homeless, we will have a duty to relieve your homelessness. A Local Authority has a Relief Duty to you for a period of 56 days. This means we will try to secure accommodation that is both affordable and suitable for your occupation. We will also consider whether your have a Local Connection to the Borough, if you are in Priority Need, and if you are Intentionally Homeless. If our Relief Duty to you ends, and you have not successfully been rehoused, you are owed a decision on the outcome of your application.

Completing a housing assessment

If you make a homeless assessment, we will consider your individual circumstances to work out what, if any, housing duty is owed to you. The Council is obliged to assess your application under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996, as amended by Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. When you make a homeless assessment, a Local Authority will decide which duty is owed to you depending on your circumstances.

Frequently asked questions

How long does a homeless assessment take?

This will depend on your individual circumstances and the enquiries we need to make, so it varies from person to person. 

Will I have to provide any information?

During your application you will be required to provide information so we can assess your application. Please provide all of the following information that is relevant to your circumstances:

Identification for all family members:

  • full birth certificates
  • passport
  • European identity cards
  • Home Office immigration papers
  • proof of pregnancy (if applicable)
  • proof of residency for the last five years
  • tenancy agreement, notice to quit, possession summons/order, bailiff's warrant
  • letter from parents, relative or friend saying they can no longer accommodate you
  • rent book, receipts or any other proof of rent
  • marriage certificate, divorce papers (if applicable)
  • injunction orders, custody orders (if applicable)
  • contract of employment, letter terminating employment (if applicable)
  • wage slips, benefit books, bank statements, savings accounts

This list is not exhaustive. You can get more information from the Code of Guidance on the Government website.

Will I get rehoused in Kensington and Chelsea?

 

Kensington and Chelsea is situated in zone 1 of London. This means that housing in the Borough is generally more expensive than in other areas of the City. It is also the smallest borough in the City with the exception of City of London. We understand that you may wish to be rehoused in Kensington and Chelsea, but this is not always possible. Our teams will assist to find suitable and affordable properties in your desired location. If this is not possible, we will try and find accommodation within commuting distance so you can retain a connection to the area.

What happens if my application is successful?

 

If we decide that we do have an ongoing duty to provide you with accommodation, we will do so until that duty ends. We will put your details on the Housing Register. Once you are on the register, you can bid for properties that become available. The properties you can bid for will depend on the priority points we award you. For more information, visit our social housing page. Councils are also able to offer suitable private rented accommodation instead of social housing. We are only required to make ONE offer of private rented accommodation to end our housing duty towards you. The property offered could be located anywhere in the UK, as long as we consider it to be suitable for your household’s needs.

If my application is unsuccessful, what will happen?

 

We will send you a letter explaining why we cannot rehouse you. if you disagree with the decision made, you can request a review.

If my application is successful, how long will I wait for accommodation?

 

It is impossible to say how long you will wait for longer-term accommodation.  It may take some time as the demand is far greater than the supply.

There is a huge demand for social housing in the Royal Borough but last year only 457 properties were let. The number and sizes of the properties let was as follows:

  • Bedsit/Studios:107
  • One bed: 201
  • Two bed: 106
  • Three bed: 38
  • Four bed: 5
  • Total: 457
Speak to us

If you are worried about becoming homeless you should contact the Housing Solutions Team as soon as possible. In the first instance, and if possible, please call us 0207 361 3008 or email us at: housingsolutions@rbkc.gov.uk.

We will contact you within two working days to assess your circumstances so we can refer you to the most appropriate team for help.

If your situation is urgent we recommend you contact us immediately and someone from our Housing and Homelessness Assessment Team will get in touch within 24hrs.

Visit us at:

RBKC Customer Service Centre
Kensington Town Hall
Hornton Street
London
W8 7NX

Our opening hours are: 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Statutory Bodies

If you are a statutory body and need to refer a client or service user to us please use the form on our Duty To Refer page.

Last updated: 15 November 2021