Help and advice

also known as: Buying a home, Home improvements, Homelessness.

Advice and information on buying your home, making repairs and keeping it warm. Also find out what to do if you are threatened with homelessness.

Homelessness and housing options

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness it is important that you seek advice and support as soon as possible.

Our aim is to work with you to try and prevent homelessness.

The Homelessness and Housing Options team has developed a range of services to help you keep your home or to find a new one.

Our Homelessness advice leaflet tells you what to expect when you contact us, what information we will need and what questions we will ask you.

If you would like some advice, or would like to make an appointment to speak to us, please contact us by:

Out of Hours Emergency

If you are threatened with homelessness outside of working hours, please contact us and the Emergency Out of Hours Service will take your call.

Housing Advice

You might find some useful information in our online Advice Wizard. It will take you about 15 minutes to answer a few questions about your circumstances and the wizard will provide you with tailored advice about your options and what to do next.

Illegal evictions

If your landlord is using illegal practices of eviction and/or harassment, please contact the Homelessness and Housing Options team for advice and assistance.

You can find more useful information in the my landlord wants me out booklet.

Winter provision

When it is predicted to be very cold (under 0°C for three consecutive nights) we ensure that there is a service in place for rough sleepers to find a bed for the night.

Anyone wishing to assist a rough sleeper in to temporary accommodation should contact us (if your call is outside office hours, the Emergency Out of Hours Service will take you call.).

No Second Night Out

We want to ensure that no-one spends more than one night on the streets. If you are aware of someone sleeping rough please report this to Streetlink on 0300 500 0194 or visit the Streetlink website for more information.

Additional useful Contacts

Buying a home

There are different schemes available to help you buy your home depending on your circumstances, including Help to Buy, Right to Buy and Local Lend a Mortgage

Help to Buy

The Government has created the Help to Buy scheme to help you to buy your own home. Whether you want to get onto the housing ladder or move up it, Help to Buy makes it possible to buy a new-build or existing home priced up to £600,000 with as little as a 5% deposit. NEYH is the government's Help to Buy Agent for Northumberland.

Right to Buy

The Right to Buy scheme helps social tenants in England to buy their council home at a discount. If you are a council tenant, or were you living in your home when the council transferred it to another landlord you might be able to buy your home

The Right to Buy in England has to a maximum discount of up to £75,000.

Local Lend a Hand Mortgage

Local Lend a Hand is a partnership between Lloyds Bank and Northumberland County Council. The local authority provides a cash-backed indemnity as additional security for the mortgage. This extra security means that Lloyds can offer you a mortgage of up to 95% of your first home’s value.

Home Improvements and repairs

There may be financial help available for homeowners to fund adaptations, home improvements and repairs.

Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG)

If you have a disability or illness which makes daily life more difficult, you may benefit from having you home adapted to help you carry on with your life independently. We can help you access the support and services you need - please contact Adult Social Care for an assessment on 01670 536400.

More information is also available in the ‘Disabled Facilities Grant' booklet which briefly describes the help available and how to go about applying for a grant

Helping Hand - Home Owner Financial Assistance

If you are a home owner struggling to carry out essential repairs, improvements, or adaptations to your home, financial help in the form of an affordable loan and step by step support is available.

Handyperson Service

This service is available to homeowners and tenants who are one of the following:

  • over 50
  • disabled
  • a victim of crime
  • at high risk of falling
  • vulnerable in any other way

The Handyperson service will also carry out home safety assessments to look at reducing slips trips and falls and accidents within the home and to improve home security.

Find out more about this service here.

Keeping your home warm

We work closely with partners to promote energy efficiency to help keep your house warm.

Warm Up North

We are working with Warm Up North to improve the energy efficiency of homes in Northumberland. The scheme can help private homeowners, rented property owners and those on low incomes meet the upfront costs of making their properties more energy efficient. Home improvements could include insulation, UPVC windows or doors, a new heating system or boiler and loft or cavity wall insulation.

The Green Deal

The Green Deal helps you make energy-saving improvements to your home and find the best way to pay for them.

The improvements that could save you the most energy depend on your home, but typical examples include:

  • insulation - eg solid wall, cavity wall or loft insulation
  • heating
  • draught-proofing
  • double glazing
  • renewable energy generation - eg solar panels or heat pumps

Find out if your home will benefit

There are various ways to check if your property could benefit from energy-saving improvements:

The Green Deal may be right for you if you think your property could benefit from energy-saving improvements.

Community Energy Online

Community Energy provides information for groups who may want to set up a community energy project. There is support and advice to help groups who would like to know more about electricity and heat generation; reducing energy use community purchasing and switching.

The Energy Savings Trust

The Energy Savings Trust focuses on promoting the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. If you are looking to save energy, conserve water and reduce waste you can find free advice and information on their website or by phoning 0800 512 012.