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Repeat homelessness application u-turn

Expert Advice consultancy case study


Shelter's Expert Advice service helped an advice agency secure accommodation for a single person with mental health and substance misuse issues. The client had tried to make a repeat homeless application but the local authority refused to accept it.

We advised that the client could make a new application as there had been a change of circumstances since their previous application.

The situation

An advice agency contacted our expert advice line about their client, a single person with mental health and substance misuse issues. The client made a homeless application to their local authority. The authority decided the client wasn’t in priority need and discharged their duties to them.

The client did not request a review of this decision as their health had improved and they had moved in with their partner. Later the client split from their partner and began sofa surfing and their health deteriorated.

The client approached the local authority again for help. The authority said they would not accept a new homeless application as the client had not been in settled accommodation since the original application.

The agency adviser wanted to know what options were available to their client.

Our advice

The expert adviser explained the homeless application process and the local authority's responsibilities. They explained a person can make a new application when there has been a factual change of circumstances since a previous application.

Both a relationship breakdown and a change in a person’s health can be a change of circumstances.

The adviser explained the process for requesting an out-of-time review of the original decision and also suggested the possibility of applying to another local authority as homeless.

The outcome

The client had a new homelessness application accepted by the local authority and was provided with emergency accommodation while the authority continued their enquiries.

Further resources

Shelter Legal

Multiple, repeat and withdrawn homelessness applications - when a person can make a repeat homelessness application

Priority need in homeless applications - who has a priority need for homelessness assistance

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

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