How to Get Urgent Housing Support in Lockdown

Fiona Whitaker, Acting Senior Housing Options Officer at Shropshire Council, explains how people
in Shropshire are being affected by the pandemic, and provides information on how Shropshire
Council can help those with urgent housing needs during the lockdown.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected lots of people in many different ways, and for some, it has
created urgent problems with their housing situation.

Some homeowners who have seen a reduction in their income due to the pandemic have applied to
take a mortgage holiday, and for those who have not yet done so, the Financial Conduct Authority
(FCA) recently extended the deadline for mortgage payment holiday applications to 31 st October.

The FCA has also imposed a ban on repossessions from mortgage providers until after this date, and
alongside this initiative, any new evictions in England and Wales of tenants in both social and
privately-rented accommodation will be suspended until 23 August.

However, you should act quickly if you are likely to (or already have) fall into rent arrears with your landlord, by agreeing a repayment plan. If this is not viable, please contact us for further advice.

The various challenges brought about by the lockdown have thrown many households into more
critical housing need. This includes people living with their parents or families who have experienced
a family breakdown, people who were living with friends, relationship breakdowns or those who are
suffering domestic abuse.

Shropshire Council has a comprehensive Self Service Advice Tool (click on the green button towards
the end of the page) designed to help people evaluate their current need and access the right
information and support.

By going through the various steps in our short questionnaire, users can get advice on how to solve a
range of problems affecting their housing situation, as well as information on what to do if they’ve
been asked to leave a property.

If you are unable to self-serve, or require further advice and assistance, you should contact the
Housing Options Team on 0345 678 9005 (9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 4pm on

Needs will be assessed and a member of our team will contact you as quickly as possible,
dependant on how urgent your situation is.

We’re here to help as many people across Shropshire as we can, and to ensure they have access to
safe and suitable housing, during the lockdown and beyond.

However, we have no way of knowing what these housing needs might be if people don’t get in
touch, so we strongly encourage anyone who needs us to complete the Self Service Tool as soon as
possible, and contact us where further help is needed so that we can assist.

For more information, visit Shropshire Council’s Housing Section or for general resources to support
you throughout the lockdown, you can access a range of community support links here, including
emergency food boxes and a dedicated COVID-19 Helpline.