Tenancy Support Service
Winchester City Council Tenancy Sustainment Team – We are here for you
Our Tenancy Sustainment Service offers person-centred support to help you successfully maintain your tenancy and access services to help you achieve your goals and move forward with your life.
We have a team of Tenancy Sustainment Officers who work with council and private sector tenants. You can refer yourself into the service by using the form below, sending us an email or call us on 01962 848 060 ext 6102 where one of our friendly team will be able to talk you through the services available.
We also have a range of other services available, click on the tabs below to find out more.
Unit 12 Pantry Community Hub
Join us for a FREE cuppa and a bite to eat at the Community Hub at Unit 12, and gain friendly advice, information and sign-posting around the cost of living.
Winchester City Council Officers and experts from partner organisations will be on hand to answer questions on increasing your income, reviewing benefits, relieving debt, keeping your private or council tenancy and much more! No need to book, just come along.
You’re welcome to bring babies/ children along too.
Every 3rd Thursday of the month | 10.30am - 12.30am
Unit 12 Community Food Pantry, Winnall Valley Rd, Winchester SO23 0LD
For more information please contact Wellbeing & Inclusion Officer, Charlotte Bailey | 01962 848 26
Housing Team give Hoarding Support Talk
Our Tenancy Sustainment Team will be giving a talk about hoarding in conjunction with the Housing Quality Network on 26 September.
The team has been working closely with Hoarding Disorders UK and Respect My Stuff to develop the council's approach to hoarding, which included a successful hoarding support pilot programme in 2022.
At the talk, the team will talk about our approach to hoarding and some of the results their hard work has achieved, along with some of the hoarding success stories the team has helped bring about
Summer Pop Up Hubs
Come and join us for informal guidance, information and sign-posting for anyone looking for support around the cost of living.
Winchester City Council Officers will be joined by Citizens Advice, Winchester and a work coach from the Department of Work and Pensions to answer questions on income maximisation, benefit entitlement, debt relief, sustaining your private or council tenancy and much more!
For more information contact our Wellbeing and Inclusion Officer Charlotte Bailey or calling 01962 848 267.
If you have any access requirements, please don’t hesitate to let us know
Support for Council Tenants
What is this fund for?
The Assist grant for council tenants was set up to offer creative solutions to Winchester City Council tenants who are in financial difficulty, facing an immediate crisis or who would benefit from short-term assistance to achieve success.
A broken washing machine, for example, would for many of us be a financial burden to replace but for those on a very low income it may mean taking out a high street loan and plunging into further debt. Similarly, lack of a phone or sim card may be hampering someone’s ability to get back into work. The Assist Grant can bridge the gap, providing support when you need it most.
Who can apply?
- Anyone aged 18 or over who is a tenant of Winchester City Council and able to demonstrate a settled residence in the Winchester District.
- Any tenant who does not have savings or income that can be relied upon to meet the need to which they are presenting.
- Any tenant who meets the eligibility criteria irrespective of their immigration status.
- Any tenant who has already exhausted requests by other means such as fuel suppliers, telecommunication services providers, charities or the Department of Work and Pensions.
Food and fuel vouchers
Food and Fuel Vouchers are being funded through Winter/Spring 22/23 to support council tenants in emergency need. These are one-off support payments in the form of a voucher or card which expire 6 months after being issued. You can access these when other forms of food/financial support have been exhausted or there is difficulty in accessing alternative support.
Referrals are made by your Housing Officer (Income or Tenancy), Sheltered Housing Officer or Tenancy Sustainment Officer so please contact them if you’d like to be considered for food or fuel vouchers.
Crisis food provision
Throughout Winter/Spring 22/23 we will be running a Pop-up Pantry at Winchester City Council offering crisis food provision from the charity Fareshare to council tenants. If you are in urgent need of food, please contact your Income or Tenancy Housing Officer or Tenancy Sustainment Officer to find out more.
We offer a specialist support service for council tenants who are struggling with their possessions in their properties.
You may be struggling with the following:
- Discarding objects or possessions, regardless of their actual value.
- Feeling the need to save possessions
- Feeling overwhelmed, anxious or stressed, when you are trying to reduce your possessions.
- Accumulating clutter that congests your living areas such as your living room and/or bedroom.
We understand it can be hard to talk to someone about clutter in your home and we’re here to listen and offer help and support. If you’d like more information about this service, please call us on 01962 848 060 ext 6102 or email Tenancy Sustainment Officer
Support for Private Rented Tenants
We have a Tenancy Sustainment Officer who works with tenants in private rented accommodation, as well as provided tailored support they also work with landlords to ensure the best possible outcomes for private tenants.
They can also help you apply for the Flexible Prevention Grant and Discretionary Housing Payments if you’re eligible.
If you live in private rented accommodation, you can refer yourself into the service by using the form below, sending us an email or calling us on 01962 848 060 ext 6102
Support for Older People
Our Tenancy Sustainment Service offers support to all tenants of any age in general needs housing. If you live in one of our Sheltered Housing schemes you can access support from our Sheltered Housing Officers by speaking to them on scheme or by contacting our Sheltered Housing team on 01962 855 335 or
If you live in one of our Sheltered or alarm linked properties our Sheltered Housing Team can support you with:
- Getting to know other residents and being involved in your community.
- Accessing services.
- Claiming benefits and maximising income.
- Anti-social behaviour and Neighbour nuisance.
Life Line Services
If you live alone and are worried about what would happen should you become unwell or have a fall we have a Life Line service that can provide you with an emergency alarm system connected, via a telephone line, to our Alarm Monitoring centre who will be able to summon assistance for you in the event of an emergency.
In addition to our standard alarm, we can also provide falls detectors and GPS enabled pendants that can be worn when out and about making it easy to summon assistance wherever you are.
For more information and charges please contact our Lifeline Officer on 01962 855 335 or email the Sheltered Housing team.
For further information visit the Older Person’s webpage
Money and Debt Support
Financial Inclusion Officer
Our Financial Inclusion Officer, Sarah Nesbitt, provides support and guidance’ around money and benefits issues to council tenants, supporting them to build and maintain financial sustainability.
We also work closely with Citizens Advice to support tenants around debt issues, if you are experiencing high levels of debt you may benefit from a referral to our Citizen’s Advice Debt Caseworker.
You can access expert advice and guidance around money and benefits issues and support around maximising income, budgeting, signposting and referrals to relevant services for debt support by emailing the tenancy sustainment team alternatively if you would like to speak to one of the team regarding your current situation you can contact us on 01962 848 060 ext 6102.
Below is a range of useful links for help and advice around Money, Benefits and Debt.
MONEY & BENEFITS
- If you are on a low income, you may be entitled to additional financial help. Complete a benefit calculation to find out if you may be eligible.
- For a step-by-step guide to claiming Universal Credit, you can use our handy UC Tool Helper
- The Government's Help for Households website has lots of resources to support households with bills, childcare costs, transport costs, and much more.
- Anyone in Winchester District can access Citizens Advice for free, confidential advice and support. This includes support with debt and other money worries, understanding benefits entitlements and applying for benefits, accessing emergency support such as food banks and energy grants, plus advice on housing and employment rights, relationship queries, immigration, and consumer issues. You can contact them for free on 0808 278 7861 or email them
- If you're worried about meeting your housing costs, you may be eligible for Discretionary Housing Payments
- The Household Support Fund also has funding available to anyone in Winchester district who is struggling with housing costs. To see if you can access this support, contact 01962 848 163 or email the homelessnes team
- If you are struggling to top up your pre-payment meter, you may be able to access financial support from the Citizens Advice Bureau. Full details and contact can be accessed by calling 0808 278 7861 visiting Citizens Advice Winchester District we are here to help.
- Anyone in Winchester District can access free, confidential debt advice and support from Citizens Advice
- Online and telephone specialist debt support can also be accessed through the step change website
- Breathing Space, officially called the Debt Respite Scheme, is a government scheme which could help relieve some of the pressure and stress caused by being in debt. Here, you can find everything you need to know about this scheme. Options for paying off your debts: Breathing Space (Debt Respite Scheme) Further advice around breathing space and how to enter it can be accessed through Citizens Advice
- The Exceptional Hardship Fund is an extra payment to help towards reducing your Council Tax if you are struggling.
- If you're having financial concerns, you can find additional support and advice on the connect to support hampshire website
Wellbeing is so much more than just physical health, it’s about opportunities for social interaction, learning new things and meeting new people. Something that we sorely missed during the pandemic over the last two years. As part of the Post-Covid Recovery Plan, we are inviting tenants to collaborate with us on the creation of new projects that enhance and improve the wellbeing of all Winchester City Council tenants.
Wellbeing and Inclusion Officer
Our Wellbeing and Inclusion Officer, Charlotte Bailey, works with tenants on projects which add value to their community focussing on the wellbeing and inclusion of tenants, particularly those identified as vulnerable and/or isolated. If you have any ideas for community projects that could benefits others’ wellbeing, do let us know! We’d love to collaborate with you! You can email your ideas to Charlotte
Sheltered Housing Wellbeing Activities Programme
This year we introduced a new programme of wellbeing activities and events across our Sheltered Housing Schemes (add hyperlink to Sheltered page), that all residents can take part in. The programme was designed in collaboration with the residents, and seeks to promote emotional and physical wellbeing, opportunities for learning and engagement, and digital connection. At present, the activities are free for Sheltered Housing residents to attend so they can take the opportunity to try something new and enjoy being in each other’s company. Activities so far include Yoga, gentle Exercise Classes, Weaving and Singing4Health.
We are currently working with several community organisations across the district to enhance their provision of Warm Spaces. These Spaces enable people to gather in safe spaces to keep warm, socialise and enjoy sharing food together. In addition, members of the Tenancy Sustainment Team and representatives from support services such as the Citizens Advise Bureau will be there so that you can have a friendly, face-to-face chat with anyone that might be able to support your wellbeing needs. If you would like details of your local Warm Space, please email our Wellbeing and Inclusion Officer, Charlotte Bailey
Below are some useful links to other services which support wellbeing and inclusion:
If you feel your mental health has deteriorated, it is always recommended to speak to your GP. Your GP can sign post to relevant services (either within your GP practice, Primary Care Network – Wellbeing service or social Prescribers) or refer to Winchester Community Mental Health Team.
- Out of hours medical advice - 111
- Mental Health Crisis Team - 0800 804 8999
- Samaritans - 020 8394 8300
- Text SHOUT on 85258 – 24/7 - crisis text service available for time when people feel they need immediate support.
- Cruse Bereavement Care - 0808 808 1677 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
- Winchester Bereavement Service - 01962 863 626
- Butterflies and Bereavement Support - 07889 009 393
- The Olive Branch Counselling - 01962 842 858
- Winchester Youth Counselling Service - 01962 820 444
- Solent Mind - 023 8202 7810
Winchester Health & Wellbeing Programme
Everyone Active’s Health and Wellbeing programme provides an opportunity for people to access a high-quality supervised exercise programme at Winchester Sport and Leisure Park and Meadowside Leisure Centre (Winchester). It targets people who suffer from or are at risk of developing chronic medical conditions and provides support to patients whose health could benefit from a more active lifestyle. You can be referred by a health professional such as a GP/Practice Nurse/ Physiotherapist or, you can refer yourself. Register here For further information, please email
We want to support all tenants to access opportunities for learning and engaging. Over the next few months, we will be offering a range of programmes that will enable tenants to engage in experiences enhance their wellbeing. We will email details of new projects to all tenants with details of how you can take part. You will also be able to find details of up-and-running projects on this page so do check back from time to time to avoid missing out!
u3a is a UK-wide movement of locally run interest groups that provide a wide range of opportunities to come together to learn for fun. Members explore new ideas, skills and activities together.
Improving everybody’s Digital Connection is a key priority at Winchester City Council. We are currently exploring ways to enable and support tenants to build their digital skills so that they feel able to keep-up with technological changes. If you are having any issues getting online or accessing online services, and feel that is impacting your wellbeing, do get in touch and one of team will be able to signpost you to some support.
Visit the new Digital Lab, situated on the ground floor of The Arc, to try out one of eight state-of-the-art iMacs, each allowing access to the Adobe Suite and other open-source design software.
Ability Net is a UK charity offering free online resources and volunteers to help individuals to use all kinds of digital technology.