Families across Birmingham have been faced with a reduction in their housing benefits, and as a result they are struggling with their rent or maybe owe arrears to a landlord. There are some places to turn to for assistance, as both the council as well as not-for-profit charities all want to prevent homelessness in the city.
The discretionary housing payment, which is provided by the Birmingham City Council, can be used to help those families that are facing an emergency. Funds are used for paying rent or other housing costs. The aim is to assist vulnerable families or individuals on a low income that are facing a crisis. Payments can be made for rental costs in order to prevent evictions.
Other services include landlord and tenant mediation from solicitors, advice on applying for housing benefits, and budgeting workshops. All of these can be provided by the organisations below.
Help for applying to housing assistance in Birmingham
The organisations below provide advise and referrals. Specialists can help clients apply for rent assistance when they are faced with homelessness. They also have information on social housing and other government programmes in the Birmingham area.
Nechells office of Free at Last is for people with a local connection. While the not-for-profit provides many services to individuals with a low income, including the disabled and vulnerable, a priority is on addressing housing problems. Social workers provide advice on addressing any rent or mortgage arrears and work with tenants that have an eviction notice. The centre is at 2 Cattells Grove in Nechells. Applicants can call Free at Last 01213 275959 for enquires or to meet with a volunteer.
Seniors can get help from Age Concern, which can be ringed at 0121 362 3650. This organisation will only assist older people or the individuals that are caring for them. Specialists have information on grants that are available for paying rent and housing needs in the West Midlands area. Or contact them for information on other financial assistance that is available for housing payments.
Shelter of the West Midlands address housing and homelessness problems. They work to stop evictions in Birmingham, help tenants with rent, and can provide information on housing payment assistance and also offer free advice on reducing rent arrears. Applicants can drop in at Gateway House, 50-53 High Street, Birmingham, B4 7SY, or call 0344 515 1800 for an appointment.
Veterans in Birmingham can get emergency assistance on rent and housing needs from Stonham Housing. If the individual is too bar behind on their rental costs, the agency does provide resettlement services to more affordable private sector properties. Telephone is 0121 523 2040.
The resource centre from Trinity Housing gives free advice on both utility bills and rent arrears to tenants. Homeowners from West Midlands can also get free advice on mortgage problems. The organisation offers assistance for housing as well as other needs, such as debt and resettlement. The main office phone number is 0121 554 8745, or address 173a Lozells Road in Birmingham.
Legal aid for housing and evictions
Asian Community Advisory can direct immigrant to housing benefits and provide free legal advice to prevent homelessness. They support the Asian community in West Midlands, including with rent needs. The organisation can be reached at 0121 753 2407.
There are several other places to turn to for legal advice in Birmingham. Not-for-profits can help mediate solutions between tenants and landlords, offer referrals to grants for emergency rent help, provide advice on disputes over deposits, and other aid.
Payments for rent arrears
For families on a low income facing a onetime crisis, the Discretionary Payment from the Birmingham City Council can be used to pay rent. Specialists from the council can also help tenants address or housing problems. Most of the financial aid is for people that are facing a hardship due to a reduction in their Housing Benefits. The government funds are limited and can only help a tenant for a short period of time.
Other option for tenants in Birmingham is the Local Welfare Provision. Eligible people may receive a onetime grant for any rent arrears owed to their landlord. The councils also provides this provision, and all applications are reviewed on a case by case basis. Proof of income and other needs is required too, and for enquires on this programmes, call the housing advisor at 0121 303 0444. A team from the council can answer questions and provide information, or more on Birmingham Local Welfare Provision.