Single women make up a significant percentage of people in the UK with housing needs. Jacqui McCluskey of Homeless Link, an umbrella organisation for homelessness charities, tells not-for-profit organisation St Mungo’s that about a third of London’s single homeless population is made up of females. Women also make up around 11 percent of the capital’s rough sleepers. The good news is that there are organisations out there to help you if you are a single woman in need of accommodation.
You can apply to your local council for rented accommodation. As council housing is in high demand, your local authority is likely to put you on a waiting list until a flat or house that suits your needs becomes available. If you’re homeless, or about to be made homeless, live in cramped conditions or have a medical condition made worse by your current dwelling, you’re more likely to be given priority on the waiting list. To apply for council accommodation, get in touch with the housing department of your local authority and request an application form, guidance notes and any other information you might need.
Like your local council, housing associations offer property for rent. Although they are not state agencies, housing associations still charge affordable rent due to being not-for-profit organisations. Some housing associations provide accommodation for specific types of people. Examples of housing associations offering housing specifically to single women include the London-based Housing for Women, a registered housing association that has been providing accommodation to the city’s women since the 1930s.
Shared Lives Plus
Shared Lives Plus, a UK organisation offering community services, runs a housing scheme in England called Homeshare. If you need somewhere to live, Homeshare will pair you with a householder who needs help to live independently in her home, as well as support and companionship. In exchange for giving the homeowner this help, you get to stay in her home rent-free as a homesharer. Although no rent is charged, you will be expected to share the household bills with the householder. The type of help and support you’ll give to the homeowner includes cooking, shopping, running errands and simply spending time with the individual.
The Foyer Federation provides young people in housing need with temporary hostel accommodation. Foyer residents are typically aged between 16 and 25. The average length of time a resident stays in a foyer hostel is nine months to one year. To apply to stay in a foyer, go to the federation’s website to find your nearest one and contact it to ask for an interview. Alternatively, you can ask a third party agency, such as your local council, care home or probation service to refer you.