How your local connection or links with an area affect who helps you with housing if you apply as homeless.
The council will make enquiries into your situation and decide if you have a local connection with its area.
You may have a local connection with a local council area because you:
- live there now or have done in the recent past
- work there
- have close family in the area
It is possible to have a local connection with more than one area.
In some situations you can be referred to a different council for help with longer term housing.
Local connection is one of 5 conditions for longer-term housing.
How you qualify for a local connection
Living in an area
You have a local connection if you've lived in a council area for at least:
- 6 out of the last 12 months
- 3 out of the last 5 years
Time spent in emergency accommodation provided by the council counts towards a local connection with its area.
Stays in prison or hospital don't count.
If you stayed in asylum support accommodation before being granted refugee status or humanitarian protection, you have a local connection to the last council area you were housed in by the Home Office. It doesn't matter how long you lived there for.
Working in an area
You have a local connection if you're working or self-employed in a council area.
Close family in the area
You have a local connection if any of your following family members have lived in a council area for at least 5 years:
- adult children
- brothers and sisters
The council might accept a local connection based on other family members. For example, if you were brought up by another relative and remain in close contact.
The council could decide you have a local connection for a special reason.
For example if you:
- need to live in the area to receive specialist health care
- have important social connections with the area
When you can be referred to a different council
You could be referred to another council for help with longer-term housing if the council you apply to as homeless decides you:
- meet all the other conditions for longer-term housing
- don't have a local connection with its area
- have a local connection with the area it wants to refer you to
You can't be referred to another council if you:
- don't have a local connection anywhere
- have a local connection with the area where you applied as homeless
- would be at risk of domestic abuse or other violence in that area
If the council says you have no local connection
Get advice if the council says it can't help because you don't have a local connection.
The council must give you a written decision including reasons if it decides to refer you to another council.
You can ask the council to review the decision within 21 days of getting your letter.
A housing adviser could help you with a review.
Check if you qualify for legal aid
You may qualify for free or reduced cost legal help if you're on a low income and have been refused homelessness help.
Last updated - 31 Aug 2017
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