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Domestic violence and homelessness

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You can apply as a homeless person if you can't stay in your home due to domestic violence.

If you are in immediate danger or there is an emergency call 999.

Who can apply

Domestic violence and abuse may include physical abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, economic abuse and stalking and harassment. If you're in fear of a partner, ex-partner or member of your family, you may be experiencing domestic abuse.

You can apply as a homeless person if you can't stay in your home. Our advisors will look at all your options to find the best possible help for you.

Leaving home immediately

If you are in immediate danger - leave straight away and contact us for housing assistance. If you can, try to arrange temporary housing before you leave, we realise this might not be possible if you have to leave quickly due to any risks.

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If you have nowhere safe to live today

If you need to leave your home and have nowhere safe to go tonight, you should come to the Housing Reception Centre in person.

You can complete a housing options enquiry form in a safe place. You will need to sign in or register with housing online – this takes just a few minutes. After completing the form you will be given an appointment on the same day.

Customer Services
Civic Centre
44 York Street

Housing Options opening hours

  • Monday to Tuesday: 10am to 4pm
  • Wednesday: 1 to 4pm
  • Thursday to Friday: 10am to 4pm

Housing Options duty: 020 8891 7409 

Temporary accommodation

Victims of domestic abuse who are eligible for housing support and are homeless as a result of domestic abuse are eligible for temporary accommodation, this could be a refuge, hostel, self-contained accommodation, or bed and breakfast. There is no guarantee as to what type of accommodation it will be as this is dependent on housing stock available.


If you are homeless, you could go to a refuge for emergency housing. A refuge is a safe house for women and children escaping domestic violence. You can contact them directly and don’t need a referral from the Council.

If you have somewhere safe to live

If you need to leave your home but have somewhere safe to stay temporarily (for example, with friends or family) you should complete the housing options enquiry form to begin your assessment. 

You will need to sign in or register with Housing Online – this takes just a few minutes. After completing the housing form, we will contact you as early as the next day, if necessary.

  • Once you've made your application, we can also refer you to a domestic violence advocate who can offer more support and advice
  • We will not contact the perpetrator if you make an application to us
  • It will be useful if you can provide us with any supporting evidence you have, such as police reports, injunctions and details of any areas you feel would not be safe for you.

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Your housing options and support

If you are not safe in your home because of violence or harassment, there are a wide range of options available to you. 

Staying at home and making it safe

Safety First Scheme – if you prefer to stay in your home, we can arrange increased security to your home, such as strengthened doors, locks, window frames and free installation of a careline alarm linked to the police control room to allow a rapid response. Access is through referral.

If you have any queries or would like to make a referral, email

Leaving an abusive home

If you need to leave your home you may want to consider these aspects:

  • Is it safe for you to remain in the borough? If not, you can apply for housing assistance to any local authority you believe you will be safe in. You can find a list of local authorities across the country at GOV.UK.
  • Changing your contact details and social media details to prevent the perpetrator from contacting you whilst you are seeking help.
  • Changing your usual routine or not going to places where the perpetrator may know where you will be such as schools/GP practices.
  • Seeking support from family, friends or relatives whilst you are looking for help.

For further information and advice, see our domestic violence support.

Do not decide to give up your home permanently until you have obtained legal advice.

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Get help from Homefinder UK

Revive is Homefinder UK’s latest division, specialising in relocating domestic abuse survivors to permanent social housing in a new and safe environment in a different part of the country.

The service provides an alternative way to find social housing for survivors without the need to compete against other high priority groups.

For more information please contact, call 020 3823 1072 or visit the Homefinder UK website.

Other support and help

There are other charities and organisations that may be able to help:

Complete the housing options enquiry form

Updated: 28 April 2023

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