This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at www.shelter.org.uk

Homelessness applications

This content applies to England

The criteria considered in homelessness applications (ie eligibility, homelessness, priority need, intentionality and local connection), the duties of local authorities, and how to challenge decisions.

Homelessness law and guidance

An overview of the law relating to homelessness under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996, including changes brought about by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. 

Homelessness and threatened homelessness

The legal definition of homelessness and threatened homelessness, and local authority duties that may arise towards someone who is legally homeless 

Duty to provide information and advice on homelessness

Local authorities have a duty to provide homelessness and prevention advice and information 

Applying as homeless

The process of applying as homeless, including making an application to more than one authority, and making a repeat application. 

Local authority homelessness inquiries

Local authorities have a duty to carry out inquiries in response to a homelessness application 

Eligibility for homeless assistance

Eligibility for homelessness assistance depends on immigration and residence status. There are different rules for British and Irish nationals, and for people from abroad 

EEA nationals eligibility for assistance before January 2021

Eligibility to homelessness assistance for European Economic Area (EEA) and European Union (EU) nationals and their family members pre-Brexit. 

Homelessness applicants with priority need

The criteria used by local authorities for establishing whether a homeless applicant has a priority need for help with housing. 

Intentional homelessness inquiries and decisions

The definition of intentional homelessness, as contained in sections 191 and 196 of the Housing Act 1996 

Local connection decisions in homelessness applications

The criteria for establishing whether a person has a local connection with a local authority. 

Local authority homelessness duties

The duties owed by local authorities to people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, including the duty to devise a personalised housing plan, to prevent or relieve homelessness, and to provide accommodation in some circumstances. Also the duty to protect property and to cooperate with other agencies. 

Personalised housing plans

Duty to assess an applicant's needs and draw up a personalised housing plan. 

Suitability of accommodation offered to homelessness applicants

The factors that must be considered in deciding whether an offer of accommodation is suitable. Different types of offer. 

Local authority ends duties

How a local authority can end its duties to a homeless applicant. 

Referral to another local authority

Information about the situations in which a homelessness applicant can be referred to another local authority. 

Applicants challenges to homelessness decisions

Challenges to local authority homelessness decisions through internal reviews, county court appeals and judicial review. 

Homelessness strategies

A local authority's duties to carry out a homelessness review and publish a homelessness strategy. 

Homelessness in Wales

The law relating to homelessness applications made to local authorities in Wales on or after 27 April 2015. 

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