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National Homeless Advice Service

Eligibility

The NHAS is funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to provide free training, expert consultancy advice and information resources. We deliver this service to organisations in England that provide some level of housing or homelessness related advice (or debt and welfare benefits advice where it is impacting on the housing situation) to their service users. The specific types of organisations who are eligible to use our services are:

Local Authorities

All local authority staff are automatically eligible for our services. Some examples of the types of local authority teams that use our services include:

  • Housing Options Teams
  • Reviewing Officers
  • Allocations Teams
  • Social Service Departments

Public Authorities

Sometimes referred to as ‘Public Bodies’ or ‘Statutory Agencies’, all public authority staff are automatically eligible for our services. Some examples of the types of the public authority teams that use our services include:

  • Prisons
  • Young offender institutions
  • Secure training centres
  • Secure colleges
  • Youth offending teams
  • Probation services (including community rehabilitation companies)
  • Jobcentres in England
  • Social service authorities (both adult and children’s)
  • Emergency departments
  • Urgent treatment centres
  • Hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care
  • Secretary of State for defence in relation to members of the regular armed forces

Although there is a focus on those teams with a Duty to Refer, anyone working within the NHS, Prisons, Probations or JCP is welcome to access and use our services.

Local Citizens Advice

All local Citizens Advice are automatically eligible for NHAS services.

Voluntary Agencies

Other voluntary agencies are not automatically eligible for our services. Some examples of the types of voluntary organisations who are eligible to access NHAS include:

  • Law Centres
  • Domestic Abuse Agencies (local and national)
  • Student Advice Centres
  • Advice Agencies working with specific groups (e.g. BAME, LGBTQ+, Young People, Ex-Offenders, Ex-Services Personnel etc.)
  • Other generalist or specialist local housing, debt and benefits advice agencies
  • Other generalist or national housing, debt and benefits advice agencies

This list is not exhaustive – please contact us if you are unsure if your organisation is eligible

Who is not eligible to use NHAS?

We regret that we cannot provide our services to organisations based outside of England, private organisations, or those which charge fees to their clients for the advice or services they receive. Most Housing Association staff are also ineligible for the service due to Housing Associations being regarded as private organisations by the MHCLG.

We also cannot help members of the general public via this service– please visit england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice for housing advice and information about how to access our public Shelter services.

Still unsure if you are eligible?

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to use our services, please get in touch via our contact form. We’ll ask you a few questions to help you work it out.