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Priority need application for homeless young person

Expert Advice consultancy case study


Shelter's Expert Advice service supported the probation service to challenge a priority need homelessness decision. The 18-year-old client could stay in their B&B accommodation.

The situation

A probation service worker called our expert advice line about their 18-year-old client, who has learning difficulties and has been in the youth justice system since the age of 14. The client was the victim of domestic violence throughout their childhood and was exploited through drug related county lines activities.

The client had been in B&B accommodation after a homelessness application to the local authority. The local authority issued a non-priority need decision and gave the client 7 days notice to leave the accommodation.

The probation service worker wanted to know the client's housing options and rights.

Our advice

The expert adviser discussed the case in detail with the probation worker, explaining the priority need rules. A person can have priority need if they are vulnerable for special reasons. This can include young people, particularly if they do not have family support.

Chapter 8.41 of the Homelessness Code of Guidance points out that young people on the streets without adequate financial resources might be at risk of abuse or exploitation.

The adviser explained the process of requesting a review of the non-priority need decision and the potential to request ongoing accommodation pending the outcome of that review. They provided details of how to access legal representation to assist the client with their review and request for ongoing accommodation.

The outcome

The local authority agreed to provide accommodation pending the outcome of the review.

Our free Expert Advice Service gives specialist advice on housing, housing debt, and welfare benefit issues. 

In this section, we highlight relevant enquiries about benefits, possession, domestic violence and other issues.