Get help from the council
Who qualifies for housing
The council doesn't have to offer housing to everyone who is homeless.
They look at the following 5 conditions to decide what you qualify for:
1. You are legally homeless
You're legally homeless if, for example, you:
have been evicted from your home
are asked to leave by friends or family
must leave due to violence
can't stay due to fire or flood
are sleeping on the streets
The council doesn't have to provide housing if you're only threatened with homelessness.
2. You meet the immigration conditions
The council call this being 'eligible for assistance'.
You usually qualify if you have:
British or Irish citizenship
settled status from the EU settlement scheme
indefinite leave to remain (ILR)
refugee status or humanitarian protection
Many people with pre-settled status and some other people from abroad could also qualify.
Find out about immigration and residence rules that can affect British citizens who have recently lived abroad and people from outside the EU.
3. You are in priority need
You or someone in your household must fall into a 'priority need' group.
You will be in priority need if you're:
a family with children under 16 (or under 19 if still dependent on you)
a care leaver aged 18-20
homeless due to a fire, flood or other disaster
classed as 'vulnerable'
When deciding if you're vulnerable, the council should consider anything that makes it hard for you to cope with being homeless and puts you at greater risk of harm.
You could be in priority need if you're aged 16 or 17. In most cases, social services must make sure you have a safe place to live but the housing department should still provide emergency housing if you need it.
4. You're homeless through no fault of your own
The council don't have to provide longer term housing if they decide it's your fault that you're homeless.
This is called being 'intentionally homeless' and includes if you:
were evicted for antisocial or criminal behaviour
didn't pay the rent or mortgage when it was affordable
left or gave up your home when you could have stayed
If the council decide you meet the first 3 conditions but are intentionally homeless they must provide temporary accommodation for a reasonable time - usually a few weeks.
5. You usually need a connection to the area
This is called a 'local connection' and includes if you:
live or work in the area
have close family in the area
need specialist healthcare in the area
If you don't have a local connection where you've asked for help, that council can refer you to a different council where you do.
They can't do this if you'd be at risk of domestic abuse or other violence in that area.
Last updated: 4 January 2021