The city council has agreed to look at ways it can help plug the gap in specialist housing advice caused by the closure of Oxford Housing Rights Centre.

The centre, in New Road, which helped homeless people find accommodation and provided legal advice for those in dispute with their landlords, closed earlier this summer due to funding problems.

OHRC was part-funded by Oxford City Council, but last October the council's housing scrutiny committee said it was concerned about the way the centre was being run, and the contract was put out to tender.

OHRC was given the option to tender the work, but in June it announced it had decided to close and wind up its affairs. Since its closure, other advice agencies have said said they have seen a big increase in their workload.

On August 4, a meeting was held at Oxford Town Hall involving advice groups, councillors and council officers to see what the council could do to help.

Patrick Murray, of the council's housing scrutiny committee said that the council was now hoping that a new centre could open earlier than the scheduled January start date.

Dan Paskins, the executive member for social inclusion, said the council had agreed to see how it could make specialist housing advice service available to the agencies until then.