Homelessness and housing issues : useful links
Contact Shelter Cymru for expert housing advice:
- Shelter Cymru runs advice surgeries all over Wales. Click on advice near you to find details of your nearest surgery. Advisers can offer free legal advice and representation to some clients and can refer your case to Shelter Cymru’s legal team if appropriate. Shelter Cymru has a contract with the Legal Aid Agency so, where eligible, the advice can be given under the legal aid scheme.
- Phone Shelter Cymru’s expert helpline on 0345 075 5005 and speak to an adviser. Mon-Fri 9.30am – 4.30pm.
- E-mail Shelter Cymru and an adviser will respond to your emails within five working days.
Law centres provide independent legal advice services. They cover a number of areas of advice, including housing and benefits. They provide free legal advice and representation.
Citizens Advice offers free, confidential, impartial and independent advice on a number of issues, including housing and benefits.
Council housing departments
Every council in Wales must operate a service providing advice and information to people who are in housing need. The service must be free and should include advice about homelessness and how to prevent it. Contact your local council’s housing or homelessness department for more information.
Many councils also employ tenancy relations officers to help any tenants who are experiencing harassment or are threatened with illegal eviction by their landlord.
If you are having problems getting your landlord to carry out repairs or you have a noisy neighbour, the council’s environmental health department has the power to take legal action on your behalf.
Find your local council here.
Social services have duties to assess and, if appropriate, provide care and support to people in need, of any age. This includes:
- People who need help because of a disability, ill health or old age
- People under 18 in need
- People in need of support who care for someone who is disabled, ill or elderly.
For more details about what help social services can provide click here.
Some solicitors have contracts with the Legal Aid Agency to provide housing advice under the legal aid scheme. Legal aid helps with the cost of legal advice and representation in court. Whether you get legal aid depends on your financial situation and the type of case.
To find solicitors who can give advice under the legal aid scheme:
- Contact the Civil Legal Advice helpline on 0345 345 4 345. The lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 12.30pm. Calls cost 4p per minute from a BT land line (more from a mobile)
- Text ‘legalaid’ and your name to 80010. An adviser will call you back within 24 hours
- Visit Gov.UK to search for a local legal adviser.
If you are a rough sleeper you might be able to get help from an outreach service. Use the Streetlink website or call 0300 500 0914 to make contact with an outreach service:
If you’re concerned about someone sleeping rough, you can also contact Street Link and they will try and connect the rough sleeper to local support and services.