Help if you’re homeless: EU citizens in the UK

Find out how to get help finding somewhere to live if you're an EU citizen who is homeless in the UK.

Help from a local council

Anyone facing homelessness can ask the council for help.

The council asks about your residence status before they decide what help to offer.

This is sometimes called being 'eligible for assistance'.

You can usually get help if either: 

  • you have settled status or permanent residence
  • you're working or self employed in the UK

Check the immigration and residence conditions to see if you qualify. You can often get help even if you've stopped working.

How much help you get depends on your situation. 

Some people qualify for emergency or longer term housing from the council. Some people just get advice on finding somewhere to live. 

If the council say they can't help

The council must write to you and explain why they think you don't qualify. 

You should ask for a review within 21 days if you think the decision is wrong.

You can usually get free legal help with a review if you have a low income.

The council must provide some general advice and information even if you don't meet the residence conditions. 

Find a hostel or nightshelter 

Hostels and nightshelters are for homeless people who are on the streets. 

You usually need to be able to claim housing benefit to stay in a hostel.

Nightshelters are often free but offer very basic accommodation. 

Find out more about how to get into a hostel or nightshelter

Other renting options

Other options include:

  • private hostels
  • renting from a private landlord
  • applying for a council or housing association home

Find out more about longer term renting options for EU citizens living in the UK

Help to pay rent

You may be able to claim universal credit to help with rent once you've found somewhere to live.

You must meet the residence conditions to get universal credit.

After Brexit

Many EU citizens continue to qualify for homeless help and benefits in the UK after Brexit. 

The rules remain the same until 31 December 2020. 

After that date, you may need settled status in the UK to get this type of help.

Use GOV.UK to find local advice services that can help you apply to the EU settlement scheme if you're homeless.


Last updated - 28 January 2020

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