Homeless: get help from the council

Steps in this guide

How to ask the council for help

You can ask any council for help if you're homeless now or facing homelessness within 8 weeks. This includes when you've received a section 21 notice.

Contact the council

It's usually best to contact the council by phone before going to the office.

The council makes you an appointment. Sometimes they arrange a home visit instead.

If you have nowhere to stay tonight, you can go to the council office in person. You don't need an appointment. Get there as early as you can.

Council opening hours vary. Every council has an out of hours emergency number for when the office is closed.

What to take with you

It helps if you take proof of your situation, such as:

  • why you have to leave your home - eviction notice
  • identity and immigration status - passport or ID card
  • medical conditions - a letter from your doctor or hospital
  • children or pregnancy - birth certificates or a letter from your midwife

If you can, take proof of your income such as bank statements, wage slips or proof of benefits.

What to expect

The council checks if you qualify for emergency housing

The council also decides if you qualify for a homelessness assessment where they decide how to help you further. The assessment could be on another day.

The housing officer should explain the process clearly.


How the council can help


Homeless assessments

Last updated - 06 December 2019

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