Cardiff tenants who fall behind face eviction and possible homelessness. To combat this problem Cardiff Council prioritises resources to help financially distressed tenants overcome a temporary shortfall if it means they could stay in their current home.
Housing Options Service
These services are provided by the Housing Options Service, which manages rental assistance counselling and advice for Cardiff residents. An advisor works with each client to determine the scope of their problem and help bridge the gap between income and expenses over a short period of time. For extreme low income residents, Universal Credit may be authorised to cover housing costs and other needs if the situation requires a longer term solution.
Many tenants do not need long-term support, but rather a temporary aid payment to cover arrears. It is possible that a direct payment may be authorised from the council to the landlords of delinquent tenants. Some of the aid is provided directly by the council. Those funds are provided from council coffers as allocated from tax proceeds.
Other aid is provided by the charities that promote the public welfare of Cardiff citizens. Since many charities do not allow individuals to solicit for funds, Council staff can apply for funds on behalf of those tenants whose situations most closely match the goals of the charity. Residents may call the Housing Options Service at Cardiff Council by dialing 02920 570 750. It is recommended to make arrangements for an in-person assessment at the Hansen Street office. If a notice to quit has been received, it should also be provided to Housing Options Service so that immediate action can be taken.
Emergency calls after hours may be directed to 02920 873 141. Temporary or emergency housing can be arranged for those who have already been evicted or who have been homeless.
Council staff have access to dozens of charities that pay rent on behalf of selected applicants that need emergency funding to prevent an eviction. These are some of the more active charities that provide housing aid in Cardiff.
Cardiff Women’s Aid helps women, men and children who may have experienced abuse or domestic violence. It provides comprehensive support to ensure a safe transition into permanent housing. Cardiff Women’s Aid features three prominent programmes that assist clients with emergency rent problems.
- The Women’s Centre is the primary service of the agency, providing aid to women seeking escape from an unhealthy living situation. Call 02920 460566 or visit 16 Moira Terrace in Adamsdown.
- Safe As serves children and young adults (up to age 25) who cannot afford to rent a private home. Call 029 20 460 566.
- Tai Diogel serves refugees who need help with their rental situation. Those seeking aid may call the main telephone at Cardiff Women’s Aid at 02920 460566.
Llamau also provides direct services to assist women and young adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Llamau is the leading charitable organisation in Wales dedicated to housing aid for its citizens.
While the charity serves all of Wales, its headquarters is in Cardiff. Those needing help with maintaining rent payments should call 029 2023 9585 or visit the Cathedral Road office.
Riverside Advice can actually intervene in some evictions. Any tenant who has received a notice to quit should speak with a specialist to determine what their rights are. Call 029 2034 1577 to arrange an appointment at their Lower Cathedral Road office.
Speakeasy Advice Centre is also able to intervene when eviction is sought by a landlord. The Richmond Road office is open for client consultations to determine the best course of action when homelessness would result from an eviction. Call 029 2045 3111.
Cardiff Law Centre helps defend the rights of tenants in eviction matters. Specialists may also assist with applications for housing aid on behalf of those not yet receiving housing benefit/universal credit. Call 029 2049 8117 or visit 41 Clifton Street.
Cardiff Advice Hub is a collection of agencies that work with the council to ensure safe housing. Housing advice may be obtained by calling 029 2087 1000.
Seniors may get help with delinquent rent issues by calling Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale. The Welfare Rights Service ensures that all pensioners are receiving the welfare benefits that they are entitled to. Call 029 2056 7883 for their Welfare Rights Service.
Higher income earners may find that benefits cannot be approved to assist with a delinquent rent situation. When a temporary disruption in income causes arrears that cannot be easily overcome, a rental loan might be a possible solution.
Cardiff & Vale Credit Union provides loans for any reason assuming that a member can reasonably afford to repay the loan. These smaller loans can be very useful for paying rental arrears while still providing the flexibility to repay the loan over 12 or more monthly payments. Some loans allow repayments to be spread across 60 months. Call 029 2087 2373 to find out about membership and unsecured personal loans.
Remaining in the same home is usually a cheaper option than any eviction process. When a few hundred pounds is all it takes to eliminate arrears and avoid an eviction, these solutions are preferred to eviction and could prevent homelessness.