What is priority need?

If the council say you do not have a priority need

The council should write to you when they make a decision about your homeless application. You might have to wait a few weeks.

The council will look into if you should get longer term housing. The council do not have to give you longer term housing if you do not have a priority need.

You can ask for a review if the council give you a letter that says:

  • you do not have a priority need

  • they cannot help for another reason

You have 3 weeks to ask for a review.

Ask to stay in emergency housing during the review.

What to do if the council does not send a letter

If you think you have a priority need but the council does not write to you:

  • contact them again

  • ask for somewhere to stay

You could use our letter template.

You can take the council to court if they refuse to look into your situation or give you a letter. This legal process is called a judicial review. You need a solicitor to help you.

Get free legal help

You could get free legal help if you're on benefits or a low income.

Make a complaint

You can complain about not getting help by using the council complaints process.

This may help in the longer term, but can take time because your complaint has to be looked at by the council.

You could make a complaint even if the council's decision cannot be challenged legally, but you've still been treated badly during the process.

Last updated: 29 September 2023

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