Important changes to rent payments

The council has changed its bank account and you may need to update your records. Find out more


Temporary accommodation: advice and support

Once you have been placed in temporary accommodation by the Housing Options service, you may well have many questions regarding your property, rent and bidding status.

Please remember that being provided with temporary accommodation does not automatically mean you will be accepted for permanent rehousing. Many households that are supplied with temporary help for a time do not go on to gain homeless acceptance and permanent accommodation.

Policy & procedures for allocated temporary accommodation

Have you been accepted for rehousing?

You will know if you have been accepted for rehousing, as you would have received a decision letter that explains this to you – this decision is usually made in the first few months of your stay in temporary accommodation.

If you have not been accepted for rehousing, some of the information below will not apply to you – for example, you cannot bid for a permanent home as a homeless applicant until a decision to accept you for rehousing has been made.

Rent deposit scheme

You can look into the possibility of taking up a private tenancy through our rent deposit scheme at any point in your application.  Even if you have been accepted for rehousing, this option is still available to you.

More information on the rent deposit scheme.

Keeping in touch

We want to keep in touch with you while you are in temporary accommodation. Find out how we aim to keep in touch.

Further information

The following pages contain information that is relevant to you, whether you are in a council property, a housing association property or a private-sector property.

If you require information that is not contained on our web pages, or in any of our leaflets, your next step is to call the Housing Options service general enquiry line and speak to your housing officer. If you do not know who your housing officer is, call our office and we will put you through to an officer who can answer your enquiry.

Private rented scheme

What is the private rented scheme?

The Tower Hamlets Private Rented Scheme is a non-statutory scheme introduced by the council's Housing Options. The scheme supports applicants that are homeless or threatened with homelessness to secure affordable and suitable accommodation in the private rented sector to address their homeless situation.

One of the main ways the scheme helps is by giving financial assistance to enable people to access the private rented sector. This financial assistance is generally in the form of a non-refundable cash incentive payment either to a landlord/letting agent.

This incentive is in exchange for the landlord/letting agent to waver the requirement for rent in advance or a rental deposit often sums that homeless people on low incomes are unable to raise. In return, the landlord/agent will issue them with a tenancy (generally an AST).

Since large sums of money are involved, tenancies brokered must stand a good chance of resulting in a lasting, affordable rehousing solution. The scheme to this end will only fund those homeless people who have proven potential to manage the demands of a tenancy and who meet the other criteria of the scheme. Housing Options will only contract with landlords/agents that meet the Council’s physical property and management standards

Applying to be on the scheme

The scheme is open to: 

  • single adults, childless couples, families 
  • who are homeless, threatened with homelessness or living in a hostel
  • and who have a local connection to the borough of Tower Hamlets
  • and qualify for housing benefits
  • and have the ability to manage a tenancy and no recent experience of  intentional tenancy failure.

Who can make a referral to the scheme?

Referrals can be made through a self-referral. Clients can present to the Tower Hamlets Housing Options team and request an assessment for suitability for the scheme.