Whatever your current housing situation (whether you own your own home, have a private or council tenancy or are living with friends of family members) you may find that you need support or assistance to either find suitable accommodation, maintain your existing accommodation or deal with housing problems that may or not be related to your HIV status.
We do know that poor-quality accommodation can have serious implications for the health of people living with HIV. People who are living with HIV may be particularly affected by living in poor quality or overcrowded housing and this can have a very detrimental effect on general health and wellbeing and particularly on mental and emotional health as this can contribute or exacerbate stress related illnesses and depression.
People who have physical health problems that are directly related to living with HIV can be especially affected by housing that has poor heating, is damp or has inadequate toilet / bathroom facilities. Problems with noisy or difficult neighbours can also affect overall quality of life.
There is a wide range of support in Sheffield to help with any problems associated with housing issues and the agencies that provide this type of support locally are listed at the end of this page.
Support that they offer includes:
- Assistance with and advocacy on housing applications
- Assistance with applications for housing transfers
- Advice and guidance on housing benefit
- Help with dealing with problems of disrepair/ poor quality accommodation
- Help with managing mortgage arrears / debt problems
- Help in finding emergency accommodation
Unfortunately, some people living with HIV continue to experience harassment from their neighbours which is not only unacceptable but is also unlawful under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
Whatever their type of accommodation, anyone experiencing harassment at home can get help and support to bring this harassment to an end or to seek out alternative housing options. The agencies listed on this page can give you advice and help you if you are experiencing harassment at home – or eleswehere.
Under the Equality Act, it is illegal to harass a disabled person for a reason that is connected to their disability. In this Act, an HIV positive diagnosis is classed as a disability and the Act, therefore, affords someone who is living with HIV the full protection of this law. In particular it is useful to know that all local authorities and other public bodies (including the police) have a duty to take steps to eliminate the harassment of disabled people.
Local Housing Support
If you have concerns or are experiencing difficulties or problems related to your housing or accommodation situation, the staff at The Forge Centre can provide advice and support on any of the issues detailed in this section.
Other useful local housing advice services are:
Shelter South Yorkshire (Sheffield)
Unit 28, Furnival House
Tel: 0344 515 1515
Shelter also offer a free, national telephone advice line staffed by trained housing advisers that is available 8.00am to 8.00pm (Mon – Fri) and 8.00am to 5.00pm (Sat & Sun).
Tel: 0808 800 4444
Sharrow Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)
416-418 London Road
Tel: 0114 258 3322
Pitsmoor Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)
30 Spital Hill
Tel: 0114 275 5376
South East Sheffield Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)
77 Queen Street
Tel: 0114 248 0043
Sheffield City Council Housing Solutions Team
First Point Howden House
1 Union Street
Tel: 0114 273 5142 or 0800 7311 689
Click here to view the website
Other Useful Resources
NAT (National AIDS Trust) – A practical guide for housing officers on HIV and it’s impact on housing needs
NAT (National AIDS Trust) – Housing and HIV Report
Sheffield City Council