Apply for help
How to get a Referral to HOMELINK
You will normally be referred to us by the Housing Department of Lewes District Council – if you have not already done so, please call them on 01273 471600, or follow guidance at https://www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/housing/homelessness. A Housing Officer will then refer your case to HOMELINK if considered appropriate.
Occasionally referrals are made by your support worker from organisations such as:
- HMP Prisons
- Newhaven Foyer
- Job Centres
- Brighton Housing Trust (BHT)
- East Sussex County Council Adult (or Children’s) Services
- Salvation Army
If you prefer, you can also call HOMELINK directly on 01273 921272, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form on the right. A Client Manager will respond to you as quickly as possible (which may take a few days if demand for our service is high or at times of staff holidays). Please note our service does not operate on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
Our friendly office team are here to support you through the process.
Coming to see us
Interviews are currently carried out by phone by the HOMELINK Client Manager. The appointment takes about 30 minutes.
You will be asked to have with you:
- Your HOMELINK Application Form
- Photo ID
- Your last 2-3 months bank statements on your phone or on paper
- The size of the loan you need and the monthly repayments to HOMELINK you can afford (between £20 – 40 a month over about 5 years) will be assessed.
- You will need to have monthly repayments set up to service any other existing debts. You may be referred to Homeworks, Stepchange or the CAB to help with this.
You will be told at the interview if we are able to offer you a loan. Our maximum loan is £2000 per individual or couple.
You will need to have a Guarantor (a family member is ideal) who will take responsibility for any missed monthly repayments to HOMELINK.
With your permission, HOMELINK may run a credit check on you: please disclose all details of your finances, which will be treated confidentially and without judgement.
All client data is held in compliance with current Data Protection legislation.
What happens next
When you have found a suitable property to rent and passed referencing, the estate agent or private landlord will email HOMELINK their invoice for the deposit and advance rent up to the sum agreed at your interview.
HOMELINK will arrange for you to sign your Loan Agreement at our Lewes office a day or two before you are due to move house. Your Guarantor will need to have returned their signed form to us, and you will be given instructions to set up a monthly standing order for your repayments.
The invoice will then be settled directly with the agent or landlord who will give you the keys when payment has been cleared!
We can only offer you help because our existing clients prioritise and honour their monthly repayments. We will only have a budget to help our next applicants because you are going to do the same. All the money you repay goes straight towards new loans.
Both the Loan and Guarantor’s Agreements are legally enforceable documents. Failure to meet repayments without arrangement can lead to a County Court Judgement.
If you make all your agreed repayments on time, we can help you when you next need to move … you will never be homeless again.
We take no responsibility for the landlord / tenant match or relationship
Homelink assesses an applicant’s financial resources for their ability to maintain an interest free loan and meet monthly repayments. These assessments are for HOMELINK’s internal purposes only and are not to be relied upon, directly or indirectly, in any way by any third party. HOMELINK does not make any recommendations about an applicant’s suitability as a tenant, or provide any references for applicants. It is the sole responsibility of landlords and letting agents to obtain references, carry out their own due diligence on prospective tenants, and take out any appropriate Landlord’s insurance
HOMELINK can also make non-repayable grants of up to £400 if an applicant is identified by referral or by our Manager to urgently need essential items such as bedding, furniture, carpeting or white goods. We settle invoices direct with the supplier.