Contact us

Your Housing Options Service provides housing advice and assistance to anyone affected by homelessness.

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness because of a valid legal notice, rough sleeping, fleeing domestic violence or experiencing a relationship breakdown please contact the Housing Options Service so we can carry out an assessment of your needs.

Contact the Housing Options Service at:

  • 0300 123 6633 (freephone) - Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, and Friday 9am to 4.30pm
  • 0300 123 6633 - out of office hours


Housing Options Officers provide an initial telephone triage service providing advice, guidance and support.

You will be offered an appointment if you have been assessed as being in immediate need or in need of intensive support.

Temporary accommodation

If you are homeless, we may provide you with temporary accommodation, depending on your circumstances.

Paying for temporary accommodation

Temporary accommodation is not free. You will be expected to pay for the type of temporary accommodation we provide.

We do understand that people may have challenging circumstances and face financial difficulties. If you have problems with debt, welfare benefits or paying rent and charges within temporary accommodation, we can help.

Our Welfare Support Service can help you in securing the right entitlement to benefits, help you work with any debtors and look at budgeting to help you manage your income.

If you are experiencing financial problems contact the Welfare Support Service on 0300 123 6633.

Our opening hours are:

  • 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday
  • 8.30am to 4.30pm Friday

Please note: Failure to pay your rent and charges may lead to court action and the interim duty that the Council has to you.

If you need help, please contact us.  

Paying rent direct from your Universal Credit

If you get Universal Credit and are having difficulties paying your rent, you may be able to pay your rent directly from your benefit.

For advice on this method of payment, call the Income Team on 0300 123 6633. 

Our opening hours are:

  • 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday
  • 8.30am to 4.30pm Friday

If you are unsure about how much you need to pay, you can view your rent account online

You can also pay your rent online. Find out more about how to pay your rent

Struggling to pay your rent in temporary accommodation

If you are struggling to pay your rent, you may be able to apply for benefits such as Universal Credit.

For more information and advice see support and benefits

For help and advice with benefits contact the Welfare Support Service.

How long you will be in temporary accommodation for

If our investigations show that we have a housing duty towards you, you may need to stay in temporary accommodation until we can find you permanent housing.

We seek to provide temporary accommodation within our Borough or as close to the Borough as possible.

If we're able to offer you a permanent home, it may be a:

  • South Tyneside Homes property
  • Housing association property
  • A tenancy in the private sector

Furniture and goods

You will not be able to take all of your belongings into temporary accommodation as the properties are fully furnished to the regulatory fire standard.

Furniture that has not been PAT tested or fails to meet the terms of the same fire safety standards can risk the safety of you and others in your household.


It's not possible to take pets into temporary accommodation (except guide dogs).

You should arrange for your pets to be temporarily looked after by friends or family.

Any household found to have taken pets in to the temporary accommodation will be asked to leave as this will be a breach of the licence conditions.

Contact information

You can find contact information in the paperwork you were given when you signed up for the accommodation.

If you can't find this, call one of the numbers below to speak to the customer contact centre:

  • 0300 123 66 33 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6.30pm)
  • 0300 123 66 33 (Out of office hours) (urgent repairs)

Rough sleepers

Rough sleeping is often the most visible sign of homelessness.

Some people who appear to be sleeping rough may be involved in street activities, such as drinking or begging, but in fact have somewhere to stay.

You can still alert the Housing Options Team on 0300 123 6633 as it is always better to get in touch about someone you think may be rough sleeping, so that local services can provide support if needed.

We advise you not to approach people you don't know to ask them about their situation.

This is the role of local statutory services.

How to report rough sleepers and beggars

  • Contact the Housing Options Team on 0300 123 6633

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP)

The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) makes sure that all rough sleepers can have access to shelter during severe weather.

South Tyneside Council will activate SWEP between the period of 1 November 2023 - 31 March 2024, where the weather is deemed extreme and life threatening.

For more information, see Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) 2023-2024.

Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to:

If you are suffering from domestic abuse and live in the South Tyneside area you can:

  • phone 999 and ask for the police if you are in immediate danger of violence.
  • speak to someone in the Police Community Support Unit (CSU) for advice on legal solutions. Police non-emergencies: 101.
  • apply to the courts for an occupation order to exclude the abuser from your home, a non-molestation order restraining the abuser from causing or threatening violence to you or a member of your household, or an injunction against the abuser to keep them away from you and your home if you want to stay in your home.
  • contact South Tyneside's Women's Aid on 0191 454 8257, they can arrange temporary accommodation, advice and support.
  • contact Impact Family Services on 0191 456 7577.
  • contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (this is a 24-hour service).
  • contact the Housing Options Service on 0800 141 2645 (freephone) if you need emergency housing.

For more information on domestic abuse, inlcuding a list of services that can offer you support and advice see South Tyneside Council: Domestic violence.

Refugees and Asylum Seekers

You can apply for help from South Tyneside Homes if you are homeless and have been granted Refugee Status or Humanitarian Protection.

You will not be affected by immigration and residence restrictions.

You can apply if you are homeless or will be within the next 56 days by contacting South Tyneside Homes' Housing Options Service for advice and assistance on 0800 141 2645.

If you need accommodation you will need to provide the following documents: 

  • a copy of your Home Office Leave to Remain Cover Letter
  • sight of your Biometric Card
  • your Passport or Birth Certificate if you have one
  • proof of address (this will probably be a Home Office document or Landlord Notice to Quit Letter)
  • landlord Notice to Quit Letter

You will be asked if you have applied for benefits if you show your Leave to Remain cover letter or Residence Permit.

If you haven't applied, you will need to complete the online application at GOV:UK Apply for Universal Credit. If you are already employed, this may not apply to you. 

You will not be able to apply for Housing Benefit if your benefits are not in place.

Immigration advice

You will need to claim asylum before you can apply for support.

For information and advice on how to get specialist immigration advice visit:

Asylum helplines

You can get help by phone if you are a refugee or asylum applicant and you need advice around claiming asylum or adjusting to life in the UK:

There are multiple charities that can provide independent advice and support with claiming asylum, housing, financial support and more:

Food banks

Food banks provide emergency food for individuals and families in crisis when they show a voucher.

A crisis can include:

  • sudden unemployment
  • delays in benefit payments
  • benefit sanctions
  • financial problems 

Food banks will supply you with food parcels while you get help to resolve your crisis.

To get a food parcel you will need to be referred to a food bank by a professional such as a housing professional, social worker, CAB advisor, doctor or health adviser.

Soup kitchens

Soup kitchens can provide low cost or free hot meals and hot drinks to those in need.

They can also offer other advice and help when needed such as blankets and clothes where available.

Below is a list of available soup kitchens in South Tyneside:

New Hope Church

3 Robinson Street
South Shields
NE33 4PR

Opening times: Mondays, 11am to 12noon and Wednesdays, 11am to 12:30pm 

Salvation Army

Wawn Street
South Shields
NE33 4EB

Opening times: Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm (50p charge)

Westoe Baptist Church 

Romilly Street
South Shields
NE33 2SP

Opening times: Tuesdays, 10am to 11:30am (small donation needed)

Independent Methodist Church 

80 Victoria Road
NE31 1LR

Opening times: Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm (small donations needed) 

Primrose Community Centre 

Lambton Terrace
NE32 2UF 

Opening times: Mondays, 9am to 12:30pm (small donation needed)

St John's Church 

Canning Street
NE31 2UF

Opening times: Tuesdays, 10am to 12noon (small donation needed)

Grange Road Baptist Church

Grange Road
NE32 2JA

Opening times: Wednesday, 10am-11:30am and Fridays, 10am, to 11:30am

Christ Church

Ellison Street
NE32 3JU

Opening times: Fridays, 10am to 12noon (small donations needed)

Hedworthfield Community Association 

NE32 4QD

Opening times: Saturdays, 9:30am to 1pm (small donation needed) 

Useful contacts


Alcohol and substance support

Benefits and money

Mental health services

Support for older people

Domestic abuse