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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.

Applying as homeless

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

Homelessness and threatened homelessness

The legal definition of homelessness and threatened homelessness used by local authorities in homelessness applications. 

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. 

Priority need in homeless applications

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

Intentional homelessness

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

Local connection in homelessness applications

The criteria for establishing whether a person making a homeless application has a local connection. 

Local authority homelessness inquiries

Local authorities have a duty to carry out inquiries if they have reason to believe someone is homeless or threatened with homelessness.  

Local authority homelessness duties

Duties that a local authority may owe a homeless person, including to prevent or relieve homelessness, and to provide interim, temporary or long term accommodation.  

Personalised housing plans

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

Referral to another local authority

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

Local authority ends duties

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

Offers and suitability of accommodation

Different types of accommodation offers local authorities can make under a homelessness duty and factors that must be considered in deciding whether accommodation is suitable. 

Applicants challenges to homelessness decisions

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

Duty to provide information and advice on homelessness

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

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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