Homeless: get help from the council

Steps in this guide


Homeless assessments

The council must carry out an assessment if you're homeless or facing homelessness. This usually involves a face-to-face interview with a housing officer.

You'll be asked to bring certain documents, such as wage slips, proof of benefits and evidence of medical needs.

Once the assessment is complete the council draws up a personal housing plan.

What the assessment covers

The council looks at why you are homeless or facing homelessness. They may ask for details of where you've lived before.

The council must look at your housing and support needs. This includes:

  • size and location of housing
  • what you can afford
  • any special needs relating to disability or ill health

With your permission, the housing officer can refer you to social services for further help if you have care or support needs.

Who the assessment covers

The assessment covers you and anyone who is part of your household.

This includes your partner and children, other relatives, and anyone else who usually lives with you or would do if you weren't homeless.

Help and housing if you're under 18

In most cases, social services must make sure you have a safe place to stay if you're homeless and under 18 and can't live with your parents.

If you go to the housing department first they must:

  • provide emergency accommodation if you need it
  • assess your situation and draw up a personal housing plan
  • refer you to social services for a 'child in need' assessment

If you don't qualify for an assessment

The council might decide you don't qualify because they think you're not homeless or facing homelessness, or that immigration restrictions mean they can't help.

They must give you a letter which explains the reasons for the decision.

You can ask for a review of the decision if you think it's wrong.

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Personal housing plans

Last updated - 03 Apr 2018

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