Priority need when homeless due to fire, flood or disaster
Priority need of people made homeless by a flood, fire or other disaster.
Homeless due to an emergency
A person is in priority need if the event that caused them to be homeless or threatened with homeless was an emergency, such as a flood, fire or other disaster.
There is no requirement that the applicant be in any other category of priority need. A person who would not fall into another automatic category of priority need and who is not vulnerable would have a priority need if homeless as the result of an emergency. For example, a single person who was not vulnerable made homeless by to a flood.
Definition of an emergency
The event that causes the homelessness and the consequent priority need must be both an emergency and a disaster.
Some events might be an emergency, but the courts have held that they are not a disaster.
For example, an unlawful eviction might be an emergency but it is not a disaster, and thus does not give an applicant priority need status.
Similarly, unfitness which gives rise to a demolition order is not deemed to be a disaster.
Last updated: 17 March 2021