Help if you’re homeless: disabilities and health conditions

Get help finding a place to stay if you’re homeless and have a disability of other health condition.

Find an urgent place to stay

Contact Shelter if you’re suddenly homeless and you have a disability or a serious health condition, for example:

  • a chronic or terminal illness
  • a mental health condition
  • a learning disability

Call Shelter’s free advice helpline on 0808 800 4444

Get help from your council

Your council should help you if you’re homeless and you have a disability or a serious health condition.

You may also be able to get housing or legal help if you’re not homeless yet but you think you might lose your home.

The council should also help you if you can’t stay in your current home because of a disability or serious health condition.  For example, if you can no longer go up and down the stairs.

Find out how to apply to your council as homeless.

Make sure you tell the council about your disability or health condition as it may help to show you are in priority need of housing.

Help with your application

You can get help with your application if you have special needs. For example, you can:

  • request a sign language interpreter if you’re deaf
  • fill in forms in Braille if you’re blind
  • get help if you have difficulty reading and writing English

What happens next

Your council should offer you temporary housing if you need it while it looks into your application.

You can ask the council to review its decision if you think the housing it offers you is unsuitable.

For example, this could be because the place you’ve been offered has stairs you can’t climb.

Read more about challenging a council's decision.

Challenging a council’s decision can be an expensive and complex process if you end up taking the council to court.

Check if you qualify for legal aid.

If you do, you may be able to get free advice from Civil Legal Advice or a law centre or legal aid solicitor to help you challenge the council’s decision.

Call Shelter if you don’t qualify for legal aid. They may be able to help you find free legal advice elsewhere.

Call Shelter’s free advice helpline on 0808 800 4444

Help adapting your home

Your council may be able to help you adapt your home if it’s not suitable to your needs, for example:

  • you have difficulty walking up and down stairs
  • the bathroom or kitchen aren’t adapted to your physical requirements
  • the house needs essential repairs to make it fit for living

Your council may be able to:

  • help you find out if your home can be adapted (sometimes referred to as a running a ‘community care assessment’)
  • do the necessary adaptations
  • help you find a suitable place if your home cannot be adapted

Get more housing advice

You can get help and advice on housing issues and your rights from the following organisations:

You may be able to get further housing advice from local and national charities helping people with disabilities and health conditions.

Still need help?

Call Shelter’s free advice helpline on 0808 800 4444


Last updated - 01 Jan 2016

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Tell us what you think of this page

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Please contact #########

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Please contact website@shelter.org.uk