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Your housing options

There is a high demand for housing in Birmingham.  Therefore, we advise everyone to explore all of the options available to them.

Choose a topic from this list to find out more:

Help in a crisis

Home Options
Discretionary Housing Payments
Short-term accommodation
Help for Homeless Households
The Youth Hub

 Quick solutions to Housing problems

Renting Privately
Housing Benefit
Debt Advice
Private Tenancy Unit
Home Lettings
Help for Social Housing tenants
Antisocial Behaviour
Mortgage Rescue Schemes
Mutual Exchange

Thinking for the future

Benefit Health Check
Sheltered Accommodation
Wise Move
Extra Care Accommodation
Buying your home
Home Buy (Shared Ownership) Schemes

Help in a crisis

Home Options

Are you homeless or threatened with homelessness?  Our Home Options service could help.  We have a number of options available to people who may be at risk of loosing their accommodation. 

For more information on the options available, please make an appointment and your nearest Neighbourhood Office, where one of our advisors will be able to talk you through what to do next.  You can do this by calling 0121 303 1111

 Discretionary Housing Payments

Are you currently claiming benefits to cover the cost of your rent?  If you are, but you are still struggling, you may be able to get assistance in the form of a Discretionary Housing Payment.  For more information, please make an appointment at your nearest neighbourhood office or by calling 0121 303 1111

Short-term accommodation

Are you currently homeless and in need of emergency accommodation?  If so, there is a range of provision throughout the city that can help.  Birmingham City Council has a duty to provide temporary accommodation to a small number of households who meet the legal criteria.  However, if you do not meet these criteria, we can give you advice and guidance on how to secure accommodation for yourself.   We will not, however, be able to house you in our temporary accommodation.

If you need advice and information on hostels in Birmingham please contact the homeless hub on 0345 603 6166 or visit the Homeless Service Centre on Bradford Street.  Alternatively, click here to search for accommodation options.

Help for homeless households

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, Birmingham City Council might be able to help.  Our Home Options Service offers a range of options to help you stay in your current accommodation or move to new accommodation.  Please contact your Neighbourhood Office for an appointment to discuss this. 

If you would like to apply to join our housing register you need to complete a housing application form. If you have nowhere to live, or are unable to continue to live at your current address, Birmingham City Council may have a responsibility to help you find alternative suitable accommodation 

For more information on homelessness in Birmingham, where to go if you need temporary accommodation, or on how to make a homeless application, please click here or contact our Homeless Service on 0121 303 7410.  

You can also find more information on www.birminghamhousingoptions.org

The Youth Hub

Birmingham City Council, in partnership with St Basil's, runs a specialist service for 16-21 year olds who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.  The Youth Hub offers a range of services for young people who are homeless or threatned with homelessness.  Click here for more information about our services, or alternatively, you can call Youthline on 0300 30 30 099 for information and to make an appointment to come and see us.

Quick solutions to housing problems

Privately Rented Accommodation

Birmingham has a thriving private rented sector.  It is the most flexible way to choose a home.  You can choose your landlord, where you live, and the type of house you live in.  Properties are widely advertised on the internet, in local news papers and in shops and letting agents.  Renting privately can be more expensive, however, you may be eligible for the Local Housing Allowance which will help cover some or all of the cost.

For advice to get you started, you can visit your local Neighbourhood Office.  You can also download a copy of our Private Tenants Handbook, which contains lots of useful advice to help you find a property.  It also advises you on your rights and obligations as a tenant, and where to get help if you need it.  You can also find more information here.

Housing benefit

Did you know that you could be eligible for Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent?.  The amount you get depends on your income and the size of the property that you need.  You can find out more about benefits by clicking here, or by contacting the Benefits Service directly on 0121 464 7000 or make an appointment at your Neighbourhood Office  for more information

Debt advice

Do you need to move because you are struggling with your finances?  Our Debt Advice team can help you sort out your financial difficulties and stay in your home.  Please call 0121 303 2087 to make an appointment to see one of our advisors.  There is no charge for this service.

You can also find more information on our housing options website, www.birminghamhousingoptions.org

Private Tenancy Unit

If you are having problems with your current landlord, Birmingham City Council can help.  We have a dedicated Private Tenancy Unit who specialise in helping to resolve problems between tenants and landlords.  They can help to negotiate a solution and, where necessary, take legal action against landlords.  Click here for more information about our Private Tenancy Unit or call 0121 303 5070

You can get advice from your nearest Citizen’s Advice Bureau.  Click here to visit their website and find out more.  You can also find lots of useful information on the Shelter website

Home Lettings

Are you looking to rent privately, but struggling to find the money for the deposit?  Birmingham City Council’s Home Lettings scheme could help.  This scheme works with a number of landlords across the city.  Once on the list, we will match you with a property and invite you to view it.  If you like it, you will be able to move in.  Birmingham City Council will pay the deposit, and you will then be liable for the rent.  All of our landlords’ rent is covered by the Local Housing Allowance, so if you are currently not working, your rent will be covered by Housing Benefit.  If you have an income, you may still be able to get assistance. For more information, please call 0121 303 1493

Help for social housing tenants

If you are a Birmingham City Council tenant and there is something wrong at home, your Local Housing Team is your first point of contact.  Whether you are struggling to pay your rent, or if your home needs a repair, our teams are available to help.  For more information on the various services available, please contact your Housing Officer.  If you aren’t sure whether Birmingham City Council can help, contact your Housing Officer and check. 

If you are the tenant of an RSL, most offer similar services.  Please contact your RSL / Housing Officer directly for assistance. 

Antisocial behaviour

Are you currently the victim of anti-social behaviour?  If so, don’t let them get away with it.  Birmingham City Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour teams can help.  They offer a range of options, from negotiating between you and the perpetrator to prosecutions.  If you are a Birmingham City Council tenant, please contact your Housing Officer or click here.  If you are an RSL tenant, your Housing Officer will be able to help.  Please contact them directly for more information.  If you are not a social housing tenant, the Birmingham Anti-Social Behaviour Unit (BASBU) can help.

Please remember, if you are at risk or need urgent assistance, contact the police by dialling 999.

Mortgage Rescue Schemes

Do you need to move because you are in default with your mortgage or because you can no longer keep up with your mortgage repayments?  The Government has developed a number of initiatives to help people stay in their homes.

If you are claiming benefits and struggling with your mortgage, you may be eligible for the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme (SMI).  This scheme provides an extra amount of money to cover the interest on your mortgage. 

The Mortgage Rescue Scheme is an additional Government Scheme to help homeowners.  There are two options; you can either

• Sell your property to a Housing Association and then rent it back as a tenant or
• Remortgage your property by way of a loan from a Housing Association

To see if you qualify for either scheme, or for more information, please contact our Debt Advice Team on 0121 303 2087

If you do not qualify, don’t panic.  A number of lenders have signed up to the Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme to help customers manage their payments.  Further details on this scheme and which banks are participating can be found here.  If your bank is not listed, it is important that you contact your lender.  A number have put their own measures in place to help customers.  Lenders are keen to help customers.  You are more likely to keep your home if you contact your lender to discuss your mortgage.

For more information on all of these schemes, please visit http://mortgagehelp.direct.gov.uk/  or contact our Debt Advice Team on 0121 303 2087

Mutual Exchange

If you are a council tenant wanting to move home, you may be able to exchange your home with another council or housing association tenant - this is called mutual exchange. A mutual exchange can be a faster way of finding a new home than applying for a transfer, especially if your transfer application is assessed as a low priority. You will need your landlords consent to exchange.

Usually two tenants will exchange their homes but it is possible to have multiple swaps involving several tenants.

It is important to make sure that you understand what a mutual exchange would mean for you. You need to be sure that you understand all of the implications before going ahead. FInd out more here...

How do I exchange?

There are many web exchange schemes and most are free or charge a minimal fee. 

Birmingham City Council tenants can now register for FREE at www.homeswapper.co.uk visit the website to find out more.

Thinking for the future

Benefit health check

There are a number of other benefits that may be available apart from the ones listed above, such as Job Seekers Allowance and Disability Living Allowance.  Why not have an Income Maximisation interview to ensure that you are claiming everything that you are entitled to, and that you are claiming the right amount.  Remember, you can claim benefits even if you are working.  The 'Health Check' is free, so why not book yourself in for one today.  It could provide your income with a much needed boost. 

To book an appointment, please contact you local Neighbourhood Office 

 Sheltered accommodation

Are you aged 50 or over and looking for accommodation?  Our sheltered accommodation could be just what you are looking for.  We have a large number of high quality self-contained properties available exclusively for people over 50.  If you are looking to move and would like to know more, please contact your nearest Neighbourhood Office or click here for more information. 

You will need to join Birmingham Home Choice.  You can do this by completing our application form. If you need help with this, please see our advice page on how to apply, or make an appointment to see one of our advisors at your nearest neighbourhood office. .

If you think you will need some support when you move in, please contact our Tenancy Support Team.  You can find more information here

Wise Move

Living in a house that's too big for you?

If you are over 50, living in a house or maisonette with 3 or more bedrooms and are considering moving down to a property with 1 or 2 bedrooms Wise Move could help you.

We may help you cover some of the costs involved in moving to your new home such as carpets, curtains or small items of work. But it's not just about carpets and curtains we offers individual assistance and support  to help with the move.

To find out more click here or contact Wise Move on freephone 0800 953 0483 or wisemove@birmingham.gov.uk.

Extra care accommodation

Are you aged 55 or over and struggling to maintain your current property?  Do you need support or assistance where you live?  If so, our Extra Care Accommodation could be for you.  Extra Care is exclusively for our older applicants.  If offers independent living with professional staff and home care on site.   

You will need to apply separately for this accommodation.  For more information, or to apply, click here or contact the team directly on 0121 675 1557

Buying your own home

If you have the money, you could look at buying your own property.  You will probably need a mortgage to do this.  You can contact any bank or building society for advice and information on mortgages.  Properties are usually advertised in Estate Agents and on the internet.  For more information on buying a home, please click here.  If you are a council tenant wanting to buy your home, please contact our Home Sales Team on 0121 303 7929 or click here to find out more

Home Buy (Shared ownership) schemes

Home Buy is the collective name for all of the different shared ownership schemes available.  

For more information on Shared Ownership click here.  Alternatively, please contact Orbit Housing Association on 0345 8 50 20 50



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