Help if you’re homeless: pregnant women

If you’re having a baby and are homeless, get help finding a place to stay.  

Make a homeless application

You can apply to the council for help with housing if you’re homeless or facing homelessness within 8 weeks. 

This includes if you've received a valid section 21 notice from your landlord that ends within 8 weeks.

Advice and support

The council must carry out an assessment of your housing needs that looks at:

  • why you are homeless or facing homelessness
  • what housing is suitable during your pregnancy and after the baby is born
  • any support you'll need to find safe and affordable housing

The council then draws up a personal housing plan. This sets out the steps you and the council must take to help you keep your home or find somewhere else to live. 

Emergency housing from the council

The council should find you emergency housing while it looks into your application.

If you're pregnant and homeless, you qualify for emergency housing providing you also meet immigration and residence conditions.

You may need proof of your pregnancy from a doctor or other health professional.

Emergency housing could be in a hostel or a bed and breakfast (B&B). You should only be placed in a B&B if there’s no other emergency accommodation available. 

You shouldn’t have to stay in a private B&B for longer than 6 weeks.

Priority for longer term housing

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for longer-term housing from the council.

You have a priority need for housing if you are pregnant or if you live with and are responsible for a child.

Help if you're under 18

The council's housing department must:

Social services usually take over responsibility for providing you with support and a place to live after their assessment.

Leaving your home because of domestic abuse

If you have to leave your home because of domestic abuse call the free:

Find out more about what to do if you could lose your home due to domestic abuse.

Help with housing costs

If you get somewhere to live, you can usually claim one of the following benefits to help you pay rent:

  • housing benefit
  • universal credit

If you're already getting housing benefit and move within your council area you should report this as a change in circumstances.

If you move to a new area you usually need to claim universal credit.

But you should claim housing benefit instead to help with rent instead if you're in:

  • a refuge, council hostel or some types of supported accommodation
  • emergency or temporary housing and pay rent to the council or a housing association  

If you're not sure whether to claim universal credit or housing benefit speak to your housing provider. 

If you find a private tenancy 

Your housing benefit or universal credit housing element is calculated under local housing allowance (LHA) rules. 

You get a set amount based on where you live, your age and who is in your household.

If you're single and under 35 you can usually only get the shared accommodation rate which can help pay for a bedsit or room in a shared house. This doesn't apply if you have children but can apply when you're pregnant.

After your baby is born, your local housing allowance (LHA) rate is based on the number of people in your household.

Other financial help

If housing benefit or universal credit doesn't cover your full rent, you may be able to get help through a:

Find out if your council has a local welfare scheme:

Still need help?

Contact a Shelter adviser online or by phone


Last updated - 09 Apr 2018

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