Get help from the council
Who can get emergency housing and longer term housing
You have a right to emergency housing if the council think you might:
The council must give you emergency housing while they look into your situation. They also must help you with a personal housing plan.
The council does not have to give you emergency housing until you are legally homeless. They must still give you help and advice if you are likely to be homeless within 8 weeks.
Longer term housing
You have a right to longer term housing if the council accepts that you:
have a priority need
meet immigration conditions
are legally homeless and this is not your fault
This is called the main housing duty.
A council may send you to a different council if you do not have any links to their area and have a local connection somewhere else.
You cannot be sent to a different council if you'd be at risk of domestic abuse or other violence in that area.
Temporary housing and final offers
You might have to live in temporary housing until the council makes a final offer of housing.
The council's decision letter
The council must give you a letter that says if they will give you longer term housing.
They have to look into your situation properly and help you with a personal housing plan. This takes at least 8 weeks.
The letter must say why if the council decides not to give you longer term housing.
Ask for a review
disagree with the council's decision
think an offer of temporary or longer term housing is not suitable
What is intentional homelessness?
You may hear the council talk about intentional homelessness.
This means the council thinks you did something to lose your home, for example:
you were evicted for antisocial or criminal behaviour
you did not pay the rent or mortgage when you could afford to
you left early or gave up your home when you could have stayed
The council does not have to give you longer term housing if they decide you made yourself homeless.
If the council decides that you have a priority need but are intentionally homeless they must still give you temporary housing for a reasonable time - usually a few weeks.
Last updated: 13 January 2023