Housing advise, housing options
Housing Options Team
The Forest of Dean District Council’s Housing Options Team provides a free service, offering tailored housing advice and assistance on a wide range of housing issues, for people experiencing housing difficulties or who are threatened with or experiencing homelessness.
We may also identify and refer you to other agencies and organisations that provide more specialised help and support that may be better suited to your needs.
The team also administrates and monitors the Homeseeker Plus Scheme. This is the Choice Based Lettings scheme that provides social housing in the Forest of Dean and other areas of Gloucestershire. Please click here for further information.
In some cases, we may need to visit you at your current home to undertake a full assessment of your housing circumstances. We will discuss this with you in more detail if this is necessary.
We are located in the main Council Offices Building in Coleford. Please visit our website.
Our specialist housing team provides a daily drop in service where they will be happy to discuss any housing issues with you and advise you on what options are available to you. The drop-in service is intended to be a brief 10 minute discussion, however, if at the drop-in service, we identify that a more in-depth advice interview is required, we will be happy to arrange an appointment for you for this purpose.
The drop-in times are as follows:-
(Please note that these times may change at short notice depending on cover – please telephone us beforehand 01594 810000)
Monday 10am - 11am
Tuesday 10am - 11am
Wednesday 2.30pm - 3.30pm
Thursday 10am - 11am
If you know that your enquiry will require more than a brief 10 minute discussion and you would like to book an appointment in advance, please contact the Housing Options Team to arrange this on 01594 810000 or by email.
If you have attended a drop-in or Housing Options appointment recently we would be interested in hearing about your experience, so if you would like to complete a survey please click here.
Persons experiencing homelessness between 5pm and 9am on weekdays or when the office is closed should contact the Emergency Duty Team Tel: 01452 614194
Examples of Advice Available
Disputes between landlords and tenants – We can advise both Landlords and Tenants on their rights and responsibilities under UK housing Law. We can discuss with you about where you can find legal advice and representation, if required.
Homelessness – early intervention often prevents households from losing their accommodation and you should contact us to discuss your situation as soon as possible. If you are homeless, you are entitled to advice and may also be entitled to accommodation.
Housing Options - We can give advice about available housing options for households looking for accommodation. This may be via the housing waiting list for social housing or accessing private rented accommodation in the area.
Social Housing Exchanges - If you wish to exchange your home with another social housing tenant in any area, there are a variety of schemes available on the internet you can register with. You will need to contact your Registered Social Landlord to discuss exchanging your home, as they will need to inspect your property and agree to allow any potential exchange to take place. Please be advised that you may be charged to register for exchanges.
Mortgage difficulties – People fall into mortgage arrears for numerous reasons such as unemployment or health problems. We can refer you for free advice and representation, available to help you to assess your options with a view to helping you to stay in your home if possible, even if court proceedings have already begun.
Notices served by landlords – We can advise you if you receive a notice saying that the tenancy is ending (A Notice To Quit) or if a tenancy agreement has already expired or where a tenant may have breached their tenancy agreement.
Relationship breakdown – many people are unaware of what to do or where to go for advice when their relationship breaks down and they separate from their partner. We can advise you where you can go to obtain legal advice about your rights in these circumstances.
Domestic Abuse - Some people suffer domestic abuse (physical and mental) and do not know where to turn for help and advice. We can advise you who to contact for help and support in these circumstances and if required, emergency accommodation if you choose to leave.
Rent difficulties - In most situations landlords have to follow a set procedure before increasing the rent. We can advise you who you can contact for in depth advice in these circumstances. If your income has decreased and you can no longer afford to pay the rent, we can signpost you to the Housing Benefits team to find out if you qualify for financial assistance.
Damp and Disrepair – If you are renting a property and experiencing difficulties with damp and/or disrepair, we can explain to you what steps you can take to resolve the issues. If your landlord is unwilling to carry out any repairs we will refer you to the Private Sector Team. They will contact your landlord to discuss the issues and if required, will arrange a visit to the property with you and the landlord present to discuss the difficulties and find the best solutions.
Other support - If we do not feel that we can offer you the right type of support or information that you need, we have knowledge of many other organisations that may be able to help you. If we can identify another organisations, who we feel would be the best source of information and support for you, we will signpost you to them.