Homeless: get help from your council

Steps in this guide

Help if the council won’t house you

Find an urgent place to stay

If you are single and homeless or need to flee domestic violence, you can try for an emergency place such as in a hostel, nightshelter or refuge.

Get help finding a place to stay if you're homeless and on the streets

Get help to find a private rented home

Find out about ways to find a private rented home.

You may need to claim housing benefit or universal credit housing costs to help pay the rent. 

Not all landlords will accept tenants who claim benefits, but you may be able to find a landlord who does.

Help from social services

If you can't get help with housing anywhere else, you may get help from social services. They could help if you:

  • have children
  • have a disability and care needs

Contact your council's social services department to find out more. Find your council on GOV.UK.

Challenge the council's decision

If you've applied to your council for help with housing and it refused to help, you may be able to challenge the council's decision.

In some cases, accommodation may be provided while the council looks into your case.

Claim benefits

If you need help with money you may be able to claim benefits or universal credit. Find out more from GOV.UK.

You could also get in touch with a council welfare scheme.

Still need help?

If you still need help speak to an adviser.

Find a face-to-face adviser in your area using the Shelter advice directory.


Challenge the council’s decision

Last updated - 07 Sep 2017

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