Homeless and housing advice

Changes due to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

The Civic is currently closed. You can contact our homelessness service by emailing us at adviceservices@barnsley.gov.uk or calling us on (01226) 773870 or freephone 0808 196 3530.

Housing options team

We offer support and help whether you're homeless or worried about becoming homeless. We'll give you advice based on your own circumstances.  

There are lots of services to help you stay in your current home.  If that's not an option we can help you to find a different home. 

You can take a look at the advice on this page first and if you've any more questions, you can either fill in our online form or give us a call. 

Homelessness and homeless prevention 

A person is threatened with homelessness if they: 

  • are likely to become homeless in 56 days
  • have received a valid notice to quit (S21 notice) 
  • have received a notice that landlord requires possession of accommodation (NOSP) which expires within 56 days 

If you're threatened with homelessness and are eligible for help, we can help to prevent your homelessness. 

A person could be homeless if they:

  • have no home in the UK or elsewhere that they have a legal right to occupy
  • have a movable home such as a boat or caravan and there is nowhere it can be placed lawfully
  • you're at risk from harm if you stay in your current home

If you think you may be homeless or threatened with homelessness we may be able to help you to remain in your home or move to another home. The earlier you contact us the more we'll be able to help you.  

If you're homeless we'll look at whether or not you have local connections in the area such as: 

  • how long you've lived in the area
  • if you're employed in the area
  • you've close family in the area
  • other special circumstances

We'll talk to you about your circumstances. This will help us to understand your situation and any support and help you may need. We'll fill in a Personal Housing Support Plan and agree with you what you need to do and also what we need to do to help you. Over the course of your application we'll keep you up to date with what we are doing to help you. You'll also need to make sure you get in touch with us regularly to let us know what you've done from your Personal Housing Support Plan.

You can take a look at more information on this webpage about your own circumstances. If you need any more help you can fill in our online form or call us on (01226) 773870.

You can read our Homeless Prevention and Rough Sleeping Strategy for 2018-2023

Rough sleeping

We can provide advice, help and support to anyone who is rough sleeping.

If you're sleeping rough or know someone who is sleeping rough you can contact the Housing Options team for help. 

The Housing Options team are based at the Civic Hall, Eldon Street, Barnsley and we're open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 5pm, Wednesday from 10.30am to 5pm and Friday from 10am to 4.30pm.  You don't need an appointment.

To get help for anyone sleeping rough:

  • phone the Housing Options team on (01226) 773870 during office hours
  • out of hours you can phone (01226) 787789
  • or visit Streetlink

Anyone sleeping rough is offered overnight accommodation during severe weather. This is usually when the temperature falls to zero degrees or below.

Hot meals are provided by Barnsley Churches Drop-in at Temperance House, Pitt Street on Mondays from 10am to 12pm, and Thursdays and Fridays from 12pm to 2pm. 

Action for Barnsley Homelessness also provide food on a Tuesday evenings from 6pm to 8pm at Temperance House.

Homeless Prevention and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2018-2023

Read our Homeless Prevention and Rough Sleeping Strategy for 2018-2023.

Armed forces

If you've been a member of the armed forces, there are a range of organisations that can offer help and support, including housing. You can find details of these in our Barnsley Armed Forces community section.

If you need any more help, you can fill in our online form, or if it's urgent then you can give us a call.  

Domestic abuse

There's lots of help for people experiencing or who have been affected by domestic abuse. 


Through our #SpeakUp campaign, we work in partnership with IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse services) who help and support people in domestic abuse situations.

Visit IDAS or call 03000 110 110.

Women's Aid 

A national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. They can offer help and support to people suffering domestic abuse. 

Visit Women's Aid or call their 24 hour helpline on 0808 2000 247

Berneslai Homes tenants

If you're a Berneslai Homes tenant you can also get more information about how we can help if you are victim of domestic abuse.

If you need any more help you can fill in our online form or call us.

Children leaving care and under 18 year olds 

Care leavers

If you've been in the care of the local authority there are a range of services available to help you. This can include help to get accommodation and support. 

For more information about what assistance is available to you and details of who to contact for further advice when leaving care

If you're living in local authority care, or you were in the past, you may be entitled to additional priority to help you to move home.

If you've been in care and are about to become homeless or are homeless and you need more help, you can fill in our online form or call us.

16-18 year olds

If you're aged between 16 and 18 and you're homeless or threatened with homelessness, a joint assessment will be completed with Housing Options team and Children’s Social Care. This assessment will include discussing your circumstances and any support needs. This will help us to prevent you becoming homeless and assist you to return home where this is suitable.

Prison release

If you're in prison or youth detention and will have no home on release, we can assess your needs and we will work with you and any professionals helping you to find a home.

We can offer advice on a range of issues. It's important for you to get in touch as soon as possible to give time for an assessment so that housing options can be explored and accommodation found. If you need any more help you can fill in our online form or call us.

Hospital discharge 

If you're in hospital and will be unable to return home because of your ill health it may be possible for your home to be adapted to help you to stay there. Please see our 'Physical difficulties in your home' section.  

If you have no place to return to when you're discharged from hospital, the Housing Options team can assess your housing and support needs and work with you, and any professionals, to ensure accommodation is available for you when you are well enough to leave hospital.

It's important to make contact as soon as possible to allow time for assessments to be completed and accommodation to be identified. Fill in our online form or call us.

Physical difficulties in your home 

Equipment and adaptations 

If you're struggling to live in your home because of an injury or long term illness, equipment and adaptations in your home could help you to live in your own home independently.

Find out more about equipment and adaptations or call (01226) 775800, or text phone 07825 454888 for BSL users.

Disabled Facilities Grants

You could get a grant if you're disabled and need to make changes to your home, for example: 

  • widen doors and install ramps
  • improve access to rooms and facilities - eg stairlifts or a downstairs bathroom
  • provide a heating system suitable for your needs
  • adapt heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use

Find out more about Disabled Facilities Grants or call (01226) 775800.

If you feel you need to move because your home isn't suitable any more because of your health issues you can register for council housing. You can ask for an assessment of your health, which may give you a higher priority for your housing application.

If you need any more help you can fill in our online form or call us.

Renting, help to rent, or problems with renting

Whether you want help to start renting a home, want to know your rights as a tenant or are having problems with your landlord we have advice for private tenants that can help.

Problems paying your rent or mortgage

We can help you to speak to the right people whether you want help to manage your debts, advice on rent arrears or mortgage arrears or help finding out about benefits

Types of housing available

Private rented

Private rented homes can offer lots of different types and sizes homes in Barnsley. It can be quicker to get a home that is rented privately as there are no waiting lists.  

You can find a private rented home by looking on the internet and searching for 'private landlords' or 'letting agents in Barnsley'. You could also visit a local letting agent for more information and homes to rent.  

There are also other web sites that may help you to find a home to rent:

Open Rent 
Spare Room

Help with a bond or deposit

If you're homeless or threatened with homelessness we may be able to help you with a bond or deposit. This can be done by giving you a low interest loan. You can ask about this by filling in our online form or calling us on (01226) 773870.

Council housing

We have around 18,800 council homes in Barnsley. Berneslai Homes manage the council house register or 'waiting list' and rent out homes through a choice-based letting scheme.  

Berneslai Homes is the organisation responsible for collecting rents, repairs and maintenance to council homes and giving guidance and support to people needing help to manage their tenancy.  

You can find out more about applying for a council house and the housing register. 

Housing associations

There are homes to rent from housing associations (registered providers). You can find out more about these housing associations and how to get on their housing register. 

You can approach individual housing associations directly and apply to join their waiting list.

Some housing associations advertise through the council’s choice based letting scheme and Berneslai Homes will provide nominations to housing associations for some available properties. If you join the council housing waiting list you will be able to bid for available hosing association properties advertised through the scheme.

Supported accommodation and support in your home

There are a number of services that deliver support and accommodation including short stay assessment units, supported accommodation and support offered to you in your home (floating support).

Supported accommodation

The aim of supported accommodation is to provide you with short to medium term accommodation that provides access to support and advice when you need it. The purpose is to help you become more independent and develop the skills needed to live and manage in your own home. If you would like more information about this please fill in our online form or call us on (01226) 773870.

Floating support

'Floating support' is a community-based support service which helps people with a range of needs to help manage their tenancy and prevent homelessness. If you would like more information about this please fill in our online form or call us on (01226) 773870.

We can refer customers into appropriate services based on assessed needs. An assessment of need will be based on the information provided by you, and/or other professionals working with you, and will help to identify what options may be most suitable.

Shared ownership and other low cost home ownership

If you're working but can't afford to buy a home or don't have a deposit saved, there are other options available to help you to own your own home. You can find out more information at Help to Buy.

Duty to refer

Public bodies have a duty to refer people they consider may be homeless or are likely to become homeless within 56 days.

More about the duty to refer, and making a referral

The public bodies which have a duty to refer are as follows: 

  • Jobcentre Plus
  • social service
  • authorities
  • probation services
  • hospitals, as part of providing inpatient care
  • emergency departments
  • urgent treatment centres
  • prisons
  • youth offender institutions
  • secure training centres
  • secure colleges
  • youth offending teams
  • Royal Navy
  • Royal Marines
  • Army
  • Royal Air Force

What do I need to know?

  • You can refer any customer / service user you've identified as being either homeless or threatened with homelessness. Take a look at the other information in this section for more advice.
  • The customer / service user must give their consent to be referred.
  • The individual can choose which local authority they wish to be referred to, so ask them where they would like the referral to be sent.
  • If in any doubt, or if your customer / service user needs urgent housing assistance, please contact the Housing Options team on (01226) 773870.

If you’re one of the public bodies in the table above and want to refer a customer, you can register and complete our secure online referral form or email the Duty to Refer teamPlease note, this is not a secure email address.


This process does not replace or affect any safeguarding concerns and referrals. Please report safeguarding concerns in the usual way.