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Emergency housing from the council

Video: Who can get emergency housing?

Video transcript

It’s unfair that councils don’t have to find emergency housing for everyone.

But they must find you somewhere to stay if you are homeless and have a priority need.

For example, you could be:

- 16 or 17 and cannot live at home

- pregnant or live with dependent children

- at risk of domestic abuse where you live

- under 21 and were in care after you turned 16

- vulnerable because of a physical or mental health condition

Emergency housing could be a room in a hostel or a hotel. There's also a chance it could be in a different area. It’s just an emergency place to stay to prevent you from having nowhere to go.

The council might then have to help with longer term housing.

But be aware, they will check your eligibility and your immigration status.

A Shelter adviser explains who can get emergency housing.

What is emergency housing?

Emergency housing is short term accommodation where you stay while the council:

Who can get emergency housing

The council must give you emergency housing if they think you might:

Contact a Shelter adviser if you think you have a priority need but the council will not give you emergency housing.

Do not refuse emergency housing if you have nowhere else to go

The council might not find anywhere else for you to stay in an emergency.

Tell the council if you're worried about safety, quality or location. They should look at safety risks and might find you something else.

You may have to accept lower standards than in longer term housing.

Emergency housing has to be very unsuitable to be challenged in court. 

Last updated: 19 April 2024

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