Housing Advice

For help and support, you can call the RISE helpline on 01273 622 822. We're here on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, 9.30 - 12.30pm. Alternatively, you can contact us via email at [email protected]

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse, there are housing options and there is support available. If you are planning to leave your abuser, it is important to seek expert support, as leaving is often the most dangerous time for a woman. As your abuser tries to maintain their control, the abuse may become worse. It is vitally important that you do not tell anyone who could pass information on to your abuser where you are going.

You can self-refer for support around housing here: Request a service | RISE (riseuk.org.uk)

You can also contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, 24-hours a day, on 0808 2000 247.

Home | Refuge National Domestic Abuse Helpline (nationaldahelpline.org.uk)

If you are in an emergency, call 999.

If you are fleeing a violent and abusive partner, there are three main housing options:

Finding A Refuge

A refuge is a safe house for women and children who have fled domestic violence. There are expert staff at the refuge who can provide emotional and practical support.

You can access a refuge place by phoning RISE or the National Domestic Abuse Helpline (see numbers and opening times above).

It can be challenging to find a refuge place, particularly if you have specific support needs. RISE or the National Domestic Abuse Helpline can talk through other options, and give advice around helping you to keep safe.

A domestic abuse survivor can temporarily claim benefits to pay for two properties if they have left their home because of fear of violence.

Making a Homeless Application

You count as homeless if you're at risk of domestic abuse in your home.

This means you can make a homeless application to any council (you do not need a local connection) if you can't stay in your home. From July 2021, you have an automatic priority need if you're homeless because of domestic abuse. This means the council must provide emergency accommodation if you need it. You can approach any council you choose and it is unlawful for you to be referred back to an area where you're at risk of domestic abuse.

You can only get help from your local authority if you meet the immigration conditions. Immigration and residence restrictions - Shelter England

Even if you are not living with a perpetrator, but the perpetrator knows where you live, you might still be considered legally homeless.

It’s a good idea to make the application in writing. The homelessness charity Shelter has a standard template you can use

Sample homelessness application template email - Shelter England

Once your homeless application’s been submitted, the local authority will have a duty to accommodate you and any dependants in the interim while they make a decision on your case. This could be in a refuge or emergency accommodation.

Making a homeless application to Brighton and Hove Council

If you want to make a homeless application, you can call Housing Needs on 01273 294400 option. You may need to leave a voicemail. Alternatively, you can email [email protected].

Further information can be found here;

Get help if you're at risk of becoming homeless (brighton-hove.gov.uk)

  • If you’re in urgent need of housing advice, call Shelter on 0808 800 4444. The best time to call them is 8am. Do hold the line regardless of the voice message. Lines are open 8am - 8pm on weekdays, 9am - 5pm on weekends.

What if I want to stay in my home?

It is understandable that you may want to make the choice of staying in your home. It can be very difficult to leave support networks, school and work, and pets.

There are steps you can take to increase your safety and it is a good idea to speak to RISE or the National Domestic Abuse Helpline who can advise around safety and making your home more secure as well as obtaining a civil order that specifies who can live in your home.

RISE can refer you for a free initial appointment with a family law solicitor who can offer further guidance and advice around this, and look at whether you’re eligible for legal aid.

Rights of Women has a very useful guide on housing and domestic violence here;

guide-to-domestic-violence-housing-and-homelessness.pdf (rightsofwomen.org.uk)

Your legal rights to your home will depend upon the type of housing, the legal status of your relationship, and whether or not you have children, so getting legal advice is really important.