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

Priority need

This content applies to England

This section looks at the definition of priority need, as contained in Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996.

Priority need categories

The priority need categories in England. 

Priority need when pregnant

An explanation of priority need because of pregnancy 

Homeless families with children

An explanation of the regulations regarding households with dependent children qualifying as priority need. 

Homeless due to domestic abuse

Domestic violence, or any other threat of violence, that causes someone to leave their home may mean that they are vulnerable and therefore have a priority need. 

People with disabilities

Vulnerability due to mental illness, learning disability, or physical disability 

16 and 17 year olds

An explanation of the regulations regarding priority need for 16- and 17-year-olds. 

Care leavers aged 18, 19 or 20

An explanation of priority need in relation to care leavers aged 18, 19 or 20. 

Care leavers aged 21 or over

A person may be vulnerable if s/he is a 'care leaver' aged 21 or over. 

Older or elderly people

Elderly people who are considered vulnerable. 

Ex-services and veterans

When a person may be vulnerable if s/he has been a member of the armed forces. 

Homeless ex-offenders

A person may be vulnerable if s/he has been in custody. 

Emergencies: fire, flood or disasters

A discussion of priority need and people made homeless by an emergency. 

Vulnerable people

A look at the different categories of vulnerability and people who may be considered in priority need, because they claim to be vulnerable. 

Refusal letters

A discussion of decision letters where the local authority has decided that an applicant is not in priority need 

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