Canterbury Housing Advice Centre


Second Floor, 24 Burgate, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2HA    01227 762605


8 June - Kent rents outstripping wages fivefold

Study by the GMB reported in KentOnline

10 June 2018 - Running for CHAC

colour runAnother fund-raising event coming up: CHAC is entering a team in the 2018 KM Colour Run. All are welcome to joing the team or, if you can't do that please consider some sponsorship. (Modest amounts are absolutely fine - every little helps. Huge sums are of course equally welcome).
* SIgn yourself up for the run (then please tell Nick Jackson)
* Sponsor Marta Taranda (CHAC Committee)

29 April and 14 June 2018 - Cycling for CHAC

cycling breakWe're fund-raising for CHAC in the 2018 KM Big Bike. Come and join us if you can, or please consider sponsoring us. (Doesn't have to be a fortune - more is great but £2 is fine).  
* Sign yourself up for the ride (and please then tell Nick Jackson)
* Sponsor Sam Gravelle (Kent U Canadian Law Students)
* Sponsor Nick Jackson (CHAC Committee)
Update: Nick Jackson was prevented by illness from riding on the day. Not too late to sponsor his substitute 50km ride 14 June.

20 December 2017 - Committee of Public Accounts report on Homeless Households published

In its summary the report concludes:  "The Department [for Communities and Local Gvernment] is placing great reliance on the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 to provide the solution to homelessness. While this new legislation will no doubt help, it cannot be successful unless it is matched by a renewed focus across government on tackling the twin issues of both the supply and affordability of decent housing, which underlie the causes of homelessness."

15 December 2017 - another £15,000 grant from the Access to Justice Foundation

 ajf logoCHAC is delighted to announce a further £15,000 grant from the Access to Justice Foundation (additional to the grant received from the same source earlier this year). We are very grateful to the Foundation for their further support of our vital work.


 15 December 2017 - The Changing Face of Homelessness

A new report from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman highlights the way in which "Homelessness is increasingly affecting families from areas and professions who previously might never have expected to face problems finding somewhere to live".

1 December 2017 - £20,000 grant from Garfield Weston Foundationgwf logo

CHAC is delighted to announce a £20,000 one-year grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation - a vital recognition of the value of our work and contribution to the continuation of that work. We are enormously grateful to the Foundation.   


30 April 2017 - £15,000 grant from the Access to Justice Foundation

CHAC is very pleased to report receipt this month of a very generous grant of £15,000 from the Access to Justice Foundation. We are very grateful for the grant, which makes a vital contribution to our work, going towards the funding of one of our casework posts.

3 February 2017 - Charity gig and auction at the East Kent, Whitstable raises £1685 for CHAC

This event at the newly refurbished East Kent Pub in Whitstable raised an impressive £3370 to be split between Catching Lives and CHAC.

Musician Dave LaThe event began with music by local musician ‘Dave La’ before moving on to a charity auction of prizes donated by local businesses and individuals, including a taster menu for four people with a selection of wine at The Sportsman in Seasalter; a ‘beach hut for the day with picnic’ from JoJos in Tankerton; prints from local photographers Michael Marsh and George Fisk; a Stunt Kite from Kites and Things; facial from Room 92; vouchers from local businesses including Staines Veg Shop and Pure. The idea for the event was born from a conversation between Nick Piska (chair of CHAC) and Catching Lives’ volunteer nurse Nikki Davies about working together to raise important funds and awareness for their charities.

Nikki Davies says, "I joined Catching Lives as a volunteer nurse in January 2016 after hearing about the new medical services that were being developed to support homeless people in the Canterbury area. Whilst supporting the clients who came to me in the daycentre, I noticed there were occasions where people were unable to be offered a space in the Canterbury Community Shelter due to a limit on how many spaces were available. It has been brilliant to see that this winter the number of spaces available has been increased to 20, however this also drastically increases running costs and so I decided to do what I could to help raise funds to ensure Catching Lives can continue to offer overnight shelter to as many homeless people as possible during the coldest months of the year. We were delighted to sell 130 tickets (making the event a sell-out) and thank everyone for coming along to show their support for both Catching Lives and CHAC".

Nick Piska, Chair of CHAC says, "I give my thanks to every single person who has supported this joint fundraising event which will help us continue to offer support to those who need it the most. Based in Canterbury, CHAC provides a free, confidential, independent and impartial advice service on housing issues with the aim of preventing homelessness. CHAC also holds a drop-in service from 1pm-3pm at the Whitstable Umbrella Centre (located on Oxford Street) every Wednesday".

AuctionCatching Lives Project leader Graeme Solly says, "It was brilliant to see so many people join us on the evening and the money raised will help to ensure we continue running vital services for the homeless people in the Canterbury area, such as the Canterbury Community Shelter. Catching Lives provides important services to those that are homeless such as nutritious meals, showers, laundry facilities, clothing, a postal address, support from volunteer nurses, our Mental Health Outreach Service, assistance in registering with a GP, and advice and advocacy on all aspects of homelessness and housing status. I would like to say thank you to everyone who helped organise the event, all those who donated items for the raffle and auction and of course to East Kent Pub for hosting us".

(Thanks to Catching Lives for the report on this event.)

17 November 2016 - CHAC annual lecture. Grimond lecture Theatre 2, University of Kent - 'Rights Litigation in an Age of Austerity - Benefit Caps, Bedroom Taxes and Zambrano Carers.’ The lecture will be given by Richard Drabble QC, of Landmark Chambers. This is an open lecture - no need to book and no charge (though there will be a collection to support CHAC.)

4 April 2016 - CHAC launched new drop-in advice sessions in Herne Bay and Whitstable. On Wednesday 6th April CHAC began a new drop-in service in Herne Bay and Whitstable to provide free, independent, impartial housing advice. They take place from 10am-12 noon at Herne Bay Citizens Advice Bureau (185-187 High Street) and 1pm-3pm at the Whitstable Umbrella Centre (located on Oxford Street) every Wednesday. We hope this brings CHAC's services to people who may want specialist housing advice but the expense of travelling to Canterbury too much. This development is part of CHAC's ongoing project to reach the people who need its services and also enhance its use of volunteers.

3 April 2016 - Donation from Reeves & Co solicitors, Maidstone. CHAC wishes to thank Christopher Reeves at Reeves & Co Solicitors for the very generous donation of £3,091 made earlier in the year.  The support of solicitors firms in and around Kent is a great help for charities providing free, independent legal advice.


Forthcoming and recent sponsored events

Dave La3 Feb 2017, 7-11p.m., East Kent pub, Whitstable - Charity gig and auction.  In aid of Catching lives and CHAC. Music by Dave La and a big auction from local support. Tickets £5 in advance from The East Kent, The Smack or Catching Lives



walk logo26 June 2016, Maidstone - Team CHAC took part in the KM Charity Walk raising nearly £800.



bikeride_logo24 April 2016, Betteshanger - Team CHAC took part in the KM Big Bike Ride raising over £1750.



abseil_logo13 March 2016, SandwichTeam CHAC was to take part in the KM Abseil. This event unfortunately had to be cancelled by the KM organisers.


lecture poster19 Nov 2015 6 for 6-30, Grimond Lecture Theatre 2, University of Kent, second CHAC annual lecture, hosted jointly with the Kent Law School, was given by Prof Dave Cowan. Dave is a distinguished scholar in housing and related areas. He talked about the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions on homelessness. Thanks to Dave for a fascintating and thought-provoking evening.


8 August 2015 - CHAC's vital fund-raising campaign continues we are very pleased to report two additional recent grants. We are extremely grateful to
The Tory Family Foundation for their generous donation of £2000
Bellway plc for £250 in kind recognition of CHAC's work in response to the Tannery fire.

cheque presentation

6 June 2015 - we are very grateful to the staff of Canterbury Cathedral, who raised a splendid £1072 for CHAC at their quiz night. Jill White and Nick Jackson from CHAC attended the beginning of the quiz to tell participants about our work.

More about the quiz and presentation on the Canterbury Cathedral site.


26 April 2015 - A CHAC team successfully completed the 50 km KM Charity Big Bike Ride,bikeride_logo starting from Baypoint Club, Sandwich, raising over £1k for CHAC as well as contributing to the KM charity. Pictures on our Facebook page.


abseil_logo15 March 2015 - A team from Kent Law School and Canterbury Homeless Outreach participated in the KM Charity Team abseil from Miller House, Maidstone. All survived to tell the tale and well over £1k was raised in conjunction with the 'Crafty for CHAC' craft sale in the Law School.


kingshill_logoNovember 2014 - CHAC lecture: The King Hill Hostel Campaign turns 50: activism and homelessness in Kent. Successful first annual open lecture was given 27 November 2014 by Laura Binger of Kent Law School. CHAC is very grateful to the Law School for co-sponsoring the event and sponsoring a wine buffet and to Sharon Rouse and other LAW School colleagues who organised in conjunction with the lecture a 'Crafty for CHAC' craft sale. The sale, together with a collection at the lecture, raised £850 for CHAC.

image: award presentationJuly 2014 - CHAC has been awarded a grant from the Kent Housing Group’s Innovation Fund 2014. The grant is funding our Housing Support Volunteers project. This involves enhanced training for selected reception and administration volunteers, equipping them – supported where necessary by our expert Casework Advisers – to help CHAC clients to complete Kent Homechoice online applications and other specialist housing-related forms which can be daunting for applicants. The award was received by CHAC Manager and Casework Supervisor Paul Wilkinson at a ceremony 15 July at Oakwood House, Maidstone. Three volunteers have been selected for enhanced training, which is now underway.

Picture shows Paul Wilkinson, CHAC Manager and Casework Supervisor receiving the award from Elizabeth Austerberry, Chief Executive, Moat Housing Group.

CHAC is very grateful to Canterbury City Council and to Gary Peskett (the Council’s Housing Strategic Policy Manager) for sponsoring its bid.


Meanwhile, the need for housing advice continues and grows. The private rented sector is particularly problematic and in 2014 overtook the social housing sector in size - see for example:

Homelessness Reduction Bill - places emphasis on homelessness prevention and receives its second reading 28 October 2016. This is a private member's bill but receiving government support (see press release; and Inside Housing for a more nuanced view).

Crisis in private renting - Jan 2016 Guardian piece drawing on a recent YouGov survey  commissioned by Shelter

Otherwise-homeless children housed in B&Bs - national number hits a 7-year high - June 2015

Housing issues in the election - Guardian round-up of housing experts' views on the parties' housing policies. See also the BBC guide.

Rising homelessness - report from Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation - Feb 2015

Housing cost pressures - Guardian and Shelter on financial pressures on home owners - Jan 2015

Rising homelessness affecting children - BBC report on Shelter figures 4 November 2014

Government homelessness support announcement 10 June 2014 - welcome but very limited announcement.

DCLG review of property conditions in the private rented sector (with responses from Generation Rent and Shelter

Sustain - Crisis and Shelter report on the private rented sector: problems faced by ex-homeless people and the need for reform

Channel 4 news web site for 26 Feb 2014 reports on trends in the housing market - leading to increasing needs for housing advice for tenants.


  • Sorry, currently no vacancies.


  • RECEPTION AND ADMINISTRATION - from time to time we do recruit volunteers. If you're interested in volunteering at CHAC and would like to find out more please email

  • MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE - we currently do have vacancies for additional members. We are particularly keen to recruit a replacement Treasurer (with relevant expertise and experience). The committee meets five times a year and there are also opportunities for members to take on additional responsibilities and to get involved in the running of the Centre (for example by helping out with reception and administration). To express interest or for more detail please email>.

  • logo Canterbury City Council logo: Crisis logo: Advice UK

© Copyright 2008 Canterbury Housing Advice Centre Patron : The Bishop of Dover. Reg Charity No: 1006386. Reg Company No: 2642776