Homeless - Ex-offenders
If you are currently homeless or facing the threat of homelessness then you may be eligible for housing assistance.
Will the Council provide me with accommodation?
We can provide advice and support to you to help you find alternative accommodation. However we will not have a duty to provide emergency accommodation or temporarily house you unless you are considered to be eligible, homeless and have priority need.
If you are a single person with support needs, the Single Housing Pathway can discuss with you a referral for floating support or supported housing.
For more information on the homelessness criteria please visit the Shelter website: www.shelter.org.uk (contact details under ‘homelessness support’) where there is specific advice for ex-prisoners.
Retaining accommodation while in custody
Housing Benefit can sometimes be paid to prisoners. You may get housing benefit if you are remanded into custody, sent to prison or given a home detention curfew. Housing Benefit can sometimes help pay your rent if you are in prison, but only for 13 weeks (if sentenced) or 52 weeks (if remanded in custody). You can only get housing benefit if you intend to return to your home and you'll need to make a new claim if you are not receiving housing benefit already.
If you are already claiming Housing Benefit you must update your housing benefit account if you are remanded in custody, sentenced or released. It's your responsibility to tell the council about any changes in your circumstances.
For more information visit the shelter website. The shelter website also provides advice on retaining a tenancy after going into custody and how to surrender the tenancy so you do not get into rent arrears.
If you give up a tenancy when you could have kept it, the council may decide that you are intentionally homeless. This means you'll only be entitled to limited help from the council if you're homeless when you're released.
Where else can I get housing support?
- Ashford Place Ashford Place is a community resource centre. Their main areas of support are Housing (for those with a connection to Brent only), Training, Employment & Enterprise, Substance Misuse Services, and Community Engagement. They also offer advice regarding resettlement, supported housing, tenancy sustainment, basic skills, work skills and vocational training and welfare benefits advice. Services are by appointment only, so please call or email them to speak with one of their advisors or visit the Ashford Place website.
- Shelter - Shelter offers telephone advice and information for people with a housing problem or who are homeless. Issues dealt with include housing rights, harassment, illegal eviction, rent and mortgage arrears, disrepair, housing benefit, domestic violence, hostel placements and finding accommodation. Helpline open 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 8am-5pm at weekends. Visit the shelter website.
Other related support
- New Horizon Youth Centre - Provides support for 16-21 year olds leaving prison, they can help in different ways like helping you to find a job, a course or accommodation. They can work with you in prison and once released. If you have been released from prison call 020 7388 5580 and ask to speak to a member of Creating Positive Futures Project team.
- PLIAS Resettlement - PLIAS Resettlement is a not for profit organisation providing numerous services, primarily targeting offenders and ex-offenders, in order to support their reintegration back into society. It includes employment support and guidance, education and training, youth engagement and advocacy. Services are free for Brent residents and self-referrals can be done by completing an online registration form. Visit the PLIAS website.
- The Prince’s trust - The Prince's Trust works with disadvantaged young people aged 11-30. They provide training, personal development opportunities and grants to help young people to get into work, education, self-employment or training. Visit the Princes Trust website.
- Addaction - Addaction is the main referral route for advice, information and assessment for substance misuse in Brent. They offer group sessions, evening support and needle exchange. Visit the Addaction website. Addaction Brent provides a Treatment and Recovery Service (TARS) and a number of different support services:
- Confidential advice and information on drugs & alcohol; viruses such as hepatitis & HIV; harm reduction
- Health checks – they offer Blood Bourn Virus screening; Needle Exchange Service; free condoms
- Structured groups including evening groups – from Motivational group to Cannabis group, from Alcohol group to Creative group. They also have Cocaine and Alcoholic Anonymous (CA & AA) groups on their premises
- Community Care Assessments – their Social Workers team will support individuals needing further residential treatment
- Women’s Morning – each Friday morning is a dedicated male free time where women are encouraged to come along and meet and relax with peers and staff.
- Support surgeries – from Housing support to substitute opiate prescribing surgery, from Psychology to Citizen Advice, from Service users Forum (B3) to weekend support
- The Hardman Directory - Provides a list of funding that is available to ex-offenders. Also has a list of companies who employ people with convictions. Visit the Prisonfunder website.
- St Giles Trust - Provides a range of support, such as mentoring, help with housing, finding a job and maintaining ties with family. Visit the St Giles Trust website.
- Unlock - A charity led by reformed offenders. It has a helpline that provides information on many topics including how being in prison affects benefits and housing, banking, insurance and employment. Visit the Unlock website.
- Langley Housing Trust - A Christian charity that provides resettlement accommodation for ex-offenders and those at risk of offending. Visit the Langley Housing Trust website.