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Experiencing domestic abuse and at risk of being homeless

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Experiencing domestic abuse and at risk of being homeless

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Confidential housing advice

If you are experiencing domestic abuse or you feel unsafe in your home, we can provide you with confidential housing advice and support. This can include: 

  • helping you remain in your home with the Sanctuary scheme, if this is what you want 
  • help to understand your legal rights and options such as a non-molestation order or occupation order  
  • providing advice and referring you to specialist domestic abuse advocates 
  • providing access to a refuge or emergency accommodation 
  • assisting you with settled future accommodation

All our staff receive specialist domestic abuse training, and they will work with you to provide support in confidence to identify your housing options and rights.

For more information about domestic abuse, including details for our team of qualified Independent Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Advocate’s contact Camden Safety Net.  

If you’re too frightened to stay in Camden you can contact another council.  

How to contact us

If you are homeless tonight or have nowhere safe to stay tonight, please call us on 020 7974 4444. 

If you can complete the homeless application form as well, it will reduce the number of questions that we need to ask you on the phone. The form takes about 10 minutes to complete.  

Make a homeless application.

Help with your application

If you need help to complete this form online, you could ask a relative, friend or neighbour. If you cannot go online, are vulnerable or have a disability you should contact us.

Rough sleeping

If you're rough sleeping, Routes off the Streets can provide support. This includes access to drug and alcohol treatment and mental health services.

What happens next

After completing the application form, an advisor will contact you within 10 working days. We will prioritise your case and try to contact you earlier. Please call us if your situation is urgent and you need a more immediate response.  

We will talk with you in confidence and discuss what to do next. If you prefer, we can offer you the opportunity to speak to someone of the same gender.  

During the assessment, the advisor will ask about your situation and work with you to understand your immediate safety needs. They will also ask you to provide documents such as a: 

  • passport or Home Office documents
  • Section 21 notice or other information about why you are homeless
  • medical assessment or medication information
  • recent payslip or benefit payment

Don't worry if you can’t find your documents straight away. It's more important that you have contacted us to help you end your homelessness.

Eligible for housing assistance 

If you have recourse to public funds and are homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days, you are eligible for housing assistance.  

An advisor will work with you to agree a personal housing plan. This will include the steps that Camden and you will take to end your homelessness.  

If you have left your home due to domestic abuse, you will not be intentionally homeless and you will be considered in priority need. If you have recourse to public funds, we will provide emergency accommodation. This could include shared facilities and be: 

  • a hostel or hotel 
  • outside Camden 
  • a safe space, such as a refuge

We will provide this while we work with you to find longer-term safe housing. View the Homelessness Accommodation Policy.

Housing options

Making your home safe 

If you wish to remain in your home but are fearful because of security and safety issues, you can contact the Safehome Project. This service is for anyone living in Camden who is as risk of homelessness due to domestic abuse.  Camden Safety Net, our specialist domestic abuse team, can offer support with this.  

Get control of your present home 

Under the Family Law Act 1996, you can apply to the courts to have your abuser removed from your present home. This is called an Occupation Order. Whether or not you decide to do this will depend on how safe you feel you may be in your home. If you’re getting divorced, jointly-owned property will be sorted out as part of the divorce settlement. This may take a long time, so you may wish to find alternative, safe accommodation and safety-plan with a domestic abuse specialist in the meantime.  

Your Housing Advisor and/or Camden Safety Net will be able to provide you with advice and information to understand your legal rights.  

Go to a refuge

A refuge is a safe house for women and children who are escaping domestic violence. They can also provide support with: 

  • welfare rights 
  • legal issues  
  • accommodation options 

Refuge addresses are confidential to ensure the safety of those who live there, and men are normally not allowed in the building. There are refuges that work with women, with or without children.  

There are also specialist refuges, such as refuges for LGBTQIA+ people and people who have experienced trafficking and Modern Slavery. Camden Safety Net can provide you with information and help with referrals to a refuge.  

You can also find out more information about availability and referral support by speaking to Refuge on the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247

For men’s refuge spaces, contact the men's advice line 0808 801 0327 or email [email protected].

Longer-term housing

We can support you to find longer-term housing. This will probably be a private rented property. Our support includes: 

  • funding to cover the first month’s rent and deposit 
  • support to negotiate with landlords to achieve an affordable rent and advice and guidance around what’s affordable 
  • employment support 
  • information on your legal rights and responsibilities as a tenant  

Rent in Camden is very expensive.  Where possible we will support you to find property options in or as near to Camden as we can. Our priority is to make sure that you can keep your tenancy in a property that meets your housing needs.  

If you will struggle to manage a tenancy, we will work with you to achieve this. We can also support you to access supported accommodation if appropriate.  

Financial Support and dual benefits

If you've left temporarily because of domestic abuse or fear of violence, you could get help with both: 

  • rent on your usual home  
  • support with housing costs in a refuge or temporary housing

‘Fear of violence’ in your home includes: 

  • domestic abuse from a partner, former partner or relative  
  • violence from others, such as racist attacks on your home or serious threats from neighbours 

Your Housing Advisor will work with you to identify if you are eligible for this financial support. You can also refer yourself for money advice and support.

Not eligible for housing assistance

If you have no recourse to public funds this means that you are not eligible for most benefits or housing assistance. However, there may be other options available to you, such as the Destitution Domestic Violence Concession, or Section 17 support.  

If this is the case, an advisor will contact you in writing to explain this. They will also provide advice about other services that may be able to provide support.