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New Partnership Launched to Help Residents who Fear Losing their Home

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Dorset Council and national charities Shelter and Citizens Advice have joined forces for the first time to prevent homelessness in the county.

The new partnership is supporting Dorset residents who are experiencing a range of housing issues by providing a free, confidential and non-judgemental one-stop-shop for anyone with housing cost concerns.

Experts can assist with many areas of housing, such as giving legal and debt advice, help finding a new home due to eviction and in some circumstances facilitate financial assistance to enable residents to remain in their accommodation.

The Housing Advice Line is open to anyone who:

- has a mortgage
- rents privately
- has a social landlord or
- are landlords themselves.

The service is also open to lettings agents, so they can share information with landlords and their clients.

When people call the Housing Advice Line on 01305 221000, their enquiry will be triaged and passed on to the most relevant team or organisation to progress.

The collaboration was formed to make it easier for people to access help if they have concerns or worries about losing their home, by having only one point of contact to get help.  

Every local authority has a statutory duty to provide advice to everyone who is experiencing housing issues. Our data from 2023 shows we:

  • took approximately 8,000 calls on housing issues via our Housing phone line.
  • answered more than 25,000 emails about housing related topics.
  • managed around 350 referrals from professionals – from both our internal and external partners.
  • took more than 4,000 enquiries through our dedicated online portal – a rise of 6% from 2022.

Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, Health and Housing, Cllr Jane Somper, said: “Preventing homelessness is a key priority for Dorset Council and we are using a variety of ways to help residents who find themselves in difficult situations.

“People often contact the authorities for help when they reach a crisis point, which is extremely stressful for them. It means we are often very limited in the help that we can give as options narrow the more urgent the case is.

“Having the three organisations work collaboratively, means we can make the process of seeking help more streamlined and easier for residents to access – hopefully averting them from becoming homeless.”

“Losing your home is one of the worse things that can happen to anyone, so we hope this partnership will reassure people that help is out there and we’re working together.

“The most important thing is, “Don’t leave it too late to speak to us. Contact us today.”

Helen Goldsack, Chief Officer, Citizens Advice in East Dorset & Purbeck says: “We welcome this partnership between the charity sector and Dorset Council, which will allow us collectively to reach out to those people who need help.

“We can offer people debt and welfare benefits advice and seek to help people maximise their income wherever possible.”

Hub manager for Shelter, Dorset, Kate Parker added: “Working with the council and Citizens Advice gives us the opportunity to get a wider understanding of someone’s circumstances, which enables us to give them tailored advice about their situation and prevent homelessness where possible.

“We can offer legal support where necessary, as our solicitors give free advice and attend court to help people who’ve lost their homes or are facing eviction.

“If anyone receives a court date for possession, we urge them to attend. Shelter is at court on possession days (alternate Thursdays) so will be able to provide advice and advocacy at the hearing. Just ask the Usher to direct you to the Shelter representative.”

Residents can also access the Housing Advice service by emailing or visiting Are you struggling with housing costs or worried about losing your home? - Dorset Council for more information.

Dorset Council continues to work with a range of partners to offer support with the cost of living challenge including access to food, housing and energy support. Information on all help available visit