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Homelessness - hospital discharge

If you are being discharged from hospital and are facing homelessness, you should let the hospital nurse staff know as soon as possible. All hospitals have a referral pathway for people who are at risk of facing homelessness upon discharge from hospital. The hospital nurse staff will ask the discharge team to help if they can.

Whether you are being discharged from hospital due to physical health, mental health or any other reason, we will make an assessment of your circumstances to see if we are able to assist you regarding your housing matter. Depending on your circumstances and needs, this assessment may take place in the hospital so don’t worry if you are unable to attend our offices.

If you already have a home but it needs to be adapted, the hospital team may refer you to the the council's home improvement agency, which is responsible for adaptations or disabled facilities grants. Alternatively, you can refer yourself by calling 02073645055. An occupational therapist may come to inspect your property to assess what adaptations are needed to help you live independently. Find out more about the home improvements agency.


We can provide advice and support to help you find alternative accommodation. However, we will not have a duty to provide you with emergency accommodation or temporarily house you unless you are considered to be eligible, homeless and have a priority need.

For further information about the homeless criteria, please visit www.shelter.org.uk or contact Shelter on 08088004444. Your dedicated support officer can also discuss this with you when you make an application for assistance.

Managing your money

Sit down and make a list of all your income and all your outgoings and any debts you may have. Complete a budgeting form to see how and where you can make savings so that you can pay all of your rent and council tax. If you do not pay your rent, your landlord may seek repossession of your home.

If you have money problems and cannot afford to pay the rent you can do the following:

  • maximise your income through claiming all the welfare benefits you are entitled to;
  • change your spending /budget to allow you to pay your rent and bills;
  • manage your debts so that you can pay your rent first;
  • get an affordable loan to consolidate your debts leaving you money for rent.

Money advice

National debt advice services

National Debtline

0808 808 4000

National Debtline provide free information and advice on dealing with different types of debt problems. Visit the national debt line website for information on simple steps you can take to deal with your debt including sample letters. You can also contact the National Debtline Freephone on 0808 808 4000 for free confidential advice on debt problems.

StepChange Debt Charity

0800 138 1111

StepChange provide free, confidential advice and support provided to anyone worried about debt. For information about different types of debt solutions and the services on offer contact their freephone helpline: 0800 138 1111 Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 8am to 4pm or visit the Stepchange website

The Money Advice Service


The Money Advice Service was set up by the government to provide free and impartial advice on money matters including budgeting , savings , borrowing and advice to help improve your finances visit the money advice service website 

Business Debtline


The business Debtline provides free advice and resources to help people deal with their business finances and business debts.

Local debt advice services

The following voluntary sector agencies provide free specialist debt advice to residents in Tower Hamlets:

Toynbee Hall

Money and Debt Advice Service,
28 Commercial Street,
London  E1 6LS

To book an appointment call 020 7392 2953 or email: advice@toynbee.org.uk or visit the Toynbee hall website 

Island Advice Centre 

Island House,
Roserton Street,
London E14 3PG

To book an appointment call 020 7987 9379 or email: admin@island-advice.org.uk or visit the Island advice website

Remember, if you’re struggling with debt, there is lots of free, confidential help and advice available so there is no need to use a fee-charging debt management company. Agencies who provide money and debt advice are required to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Tower Hamlets housing benefit advice

Claim what you are entitled to

Millions of means-tested benefits go unclaimed every year. If you are on a low income, you may qualify for help with benefits and tax credits. Make sure you’re not missing out. The online calculator on Turn 2 us website can help you check your entitlement.

The council’s benefits service can also tell you what council tax and housing benefit you are entitled to. Visit the benefits page or call 020 7364 5000.