Apply for help with housing costs

 

What is the Housing Fund?

This fund offers grants to help Muslims in the UK who need support to live in affordable, liveable and safe accommodation.

What can I get help with?

You can apply for help with:

  1. Rent and deposit – To move into an affordable and secure home
  2. Arrears
    1. Rent arrears – Rent owed on your current home
    2. Council Tax arrears – Council Tax debts
  3. Furniture – Essential items for your new home

To apply for help with things like food, clothing and education, find out more about applying for Zakat

Can I apply?

For all applications

To apply, you must be a Muslim living in the UK and be able to demonstrate that you are unable to afford the housing costs you are applying for help with. To confirm that you can get help, we will look at how much money you have, your monthly income and expenses.

If you are seeking asylum, on a student visa, work permit or have no status in the UK, then you are not able to apply.

For Rent and Deposit

To apply for help with rent and deposit, you must be able to show that you have nowhere to live or that where you live now is not affordable for you.

If you have found a home you would like to move in to, we will need the tenancy agreement. If you are still looking for a home, you can still apply but you will have to give this to us later. The tenancy must be:

1. Secured or an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for a minimum of 6 months

2. The rent can be no more than your Local Housing Allowance (LHA) plus 5%. You can see what your LHA is here https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/

3. The payment to move in must be 1 month of rent in advance and 1 month of equivalent rent as a deposit

4. The deposit must be placed in a deposit protection scheme

5. Your landlord must accept Housing Benefit

6. The property must be semi or fully furnished.

Arrears

For Rent arrears

To apply for help with rent arrears, the rent you owe must be on the home you live in now. Also:

1. Your tenancy must be secured or an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for a minimum of 6 months

2. You must be entitled to Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit

3. If you owe more than £1,000 in rent, you will need to apply for and get a decision on a

4. Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) [insert link here] and a payment plan from your council or Housing Association before you apply to us.

5. We will look at your income and your rent to make sure that you will be able to afford your rent going forward.

We cannot help you with rent arrears if you owe more than £3,000.

For Council Tax arrears

To apply for help with Council Tax arrears, the tax you owe must be for a previous financial year (April to March). For example, if you owe Council Tax for December 2018, January 2019 and February 2019, you can only apply to us in April when it becomes a debt you must pay.

If you owe more than £800 in Council Tax, you will also need to get a payment plan from your council before you can apply to us for help.

For furniture

To apply for help with furniture, you must apply 1 month before moving into your new home or within 3 months after you have moved in.

You will also need to give us your tenancy agreement so we can see what furniture comes with your new home. Your new home must be unfurnished or semi-furnished.

How much help can I get?

The amount of help we can give you depends on your circumstances and the type of help you need. The average grant we give is £1,000 and the maximum we can give is £3,000.

For help with rent and deposits, the rent may be no more than your Local Housing Allowance (LHA) plus 5%. You can see what your LHA is here https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/. The maximum we can give you is £3,000.

For help with rent arrears, the maximum we can give you is £1,000.

For help with Council Tax arrears, the maximum we can give you £800.

For help with furniture, we can give you up to 3 items.

How long will it take to get help?

The application form takes around 25 minutes to complete.

Once you have sent us your application with all the information and documents we need, we will aim to give you a decision on your application within 5 working days.

If you do not give us all of the information and documents we need to look your application, your application will be delayed and you will have up to 28 days to give us anything you have missed after which your application will be deleted.

What happens once I have applied?

Once you have sent us your application, the Housing team will make sure that you have given us all the information and documents we need to look at your application and that you are eligible to apply for help. If there is anything you have missed, you will be asked to send it to us within 28 days.

We will then look at how much money you have, your monthly income and expenses to confirm that we can help you. Depending on the type of help you need, we will look at the information and documents you have given to see if your accommodation is affordable for you and decide if we can help you.

If we can give you a grant, we will email you to confirm this and arrange payment. If we cannot give you a grant, we will email you to tell you why.

How many times can I apply?

We can give you one grant from the Housing Fund every 5 years. For example, if we help you with an Arrears grant in January 2020, you will not be able to apply for an Arrears grant again until January 2025, but you could apply for help with a Rent and Deposit or Furniture grant at any time.

What information and documents do I need to provide?

 

To apply for help, you will need to give us the following documents:

Photo ID for you, your wife/husband and children under 18 You can give us a copy of a passport, driving licence or other document given to you by the authorities.
Bank statements We will need 3 full months of bank statements for all your bank accounts. For example, if you send us your application on 2nd January, you will need to give us bank statements for October, November and December.

For help with rent and deposit, you will also need to give us the following documents:

Tenancy Agreement If you have found a home you would like to move in to, we will need the tenancy agreement. If you are still looking for a home, you can give this to us later. The tenancy must be:

1. Secured or an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for a minimum of 6 months
2. The rent can be no more than your Local Housing Allowance (LHA) plus 5%. You can see what your LHA is here https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/
3. The payment to move in must be 1 month of rent and 1 month for your deposit
4. The deposit must be placed in a deposit protection scheme
5. Your landlord must be willing to accept Housing Benefit
6. The property must be semi or fully furnished.

Housing Benefit/Universal Credit entitlement We will need a letter from your council or a print-out of your Universal Credit statement to confirm how much Housing Benefit you get.

For help with rent arrears, you will also need to give us the following documents:

Tenancy Agreement We will need the tenancy agreement for where you live now.
Rent statement We will need the rent statement which shows how much rent you owe and for what period.
Housing Benefit/Universal Credit entitlement We will need a letter from your council or a print-out of your Universal Credit statement to confirm how much Housing Benefit you get.

For rent arrears above £1,000, you will also need to give us:

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) application decision We will need a letter which shows the council’s decision on your DHP application.
Payment plan We will need the payment plan given to you by your council or Housing Association. If you were not given a payment plan, we will need a letter from your council or Housing Association to tell us why.

For help with Council Tax arrears, you will also need to give us the following documents:

Council Tax statement We will need your Council Tax statement which shows how much you owe.
Housing Benefit/Universal Credit entitlement We will need a letter from your council or a print-out of your Universal Credit statement to confirm how much Housing Benefit you get.

For Council Tax arrears over £800, you will also need to give us:

Payment plan We will need the payment plan given to you by your council. If you were not given a payment plan, we will need a letter from your council to tell us why.

For help with Furniture, you will also need to give us the following document:

Tenancy Agreement We will need a tenancy agreement for your new home. The agreement must include a section which shows what furniture you have.

How will help be given?

For rent and deposit, your grant will be given directly to your landlord.

For rent arrears and Council Tax arrears, your grant will be given directly to your council or Housing Association.

For furniture, you will be informed of the items which will be sent to you. Our furniture partners, CSupplies, will contact you to arrange delivery.

Where else can I get help?

Get help with renting costs

You might be able to get benefits or grants to help you with the cost of renting from a private landlord or through a letting agent. It’s important to work out what you’ll need to pay before you move in, so you’ll know if you can afford to rent the property.

How much does it cost to rent?
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/renting-privately/private-renting/how-much-it-costs-to-rent/

Get help paying your rent
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/renting-privately/private-renting/get-help-with-renting-costs/

Help with utilities and bills

If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant from a charitable trust to help pay it off. Learn more: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-help-paying-your-bills/grants-and-benefits-to-help-you-pay-your-energy-bills/

Find a help to rent scheme near you

Whilst NZF aims to support applicants with rent deposits, we always encourage applicants to maximise their options for support. There are several schemes available that can help with accessing rental deposits. You can search for a local scheme near you below.

Find a help-to-rent scheme
https://www.crisis.org.uk/ending-homelessness/resources-for-practitioners/prs-database/?prsCategory=localAuthority&localAuthority=2160&Page=1

What if I am not happy with your service?

Although we may not be able to help everyone who applies to us, we are committed to providing a high-quality service to all our applicants. If something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. We will use the information you give us to help improve our service.

If you are not happy about any part of our service, please email us on feedback@nzf.org.uk

What will happen next?

We will reply to your email to confirm that we have received it within 5 working days.

We will look into your complaint. A Senior Grants Officer will review any evidence available and speak to members of staff if appropriate.

We will aim to reply to your complaint within 15 working days. If this is not possible, we will send you an update.

If you are not happy with our response to your complaint, you can ask for this to be reviewed by the CEO of National Zakat Foundation. The CEO will then review your complaint and respond to you directly.

How can I get more information?

For more information on applying to the Housing Fund, please email us on applications@nzf.org.uk

 

To apply to the Housing Fund please click here:

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