You can apply to the council to get somewhere to live if you're homeless or you’II become homeless within 8 weeks.
If you’re not a British citizen and you’ve been rough sleeping your right to stay in the UK might be affected. If you’re applying to the EU Settlement Scheme your application cannot be turned down because of rough sleeping. Talk to an adviser if you’re worried that rough sleeping might affect your immigration status.
Your local council might help you now, even if you wouldn’t usually be entitled to help. This includes if you've left or turned down emergency accommodation.
Ask the council what their policy is for helping rough sleepers. The government have said they’re working with local councils to keep people in housing - that includes making more funding available to support rough sleepers.
Ask your council how they can help - you can find their contact details on GOV.UK.
You don’t have to be sleeping on the streets to be considered homeless. You can apply for help even if you have somewhere to live but it’s not suitable. For example, if you’re staying on a friend’s sofa or your home is overcrowded.
You can also apply for help if you’ve been given a valid section 21 eviction notice which ends within 8 weeks.
How much help you get depends on your circumstances.
It’s worth applying for help even if you’re not sure you’II get it - councils have to make decisions on a case by case basis.
If you’re not a British citizen, applying for homeless help could affect your right to stay in the UK. Contact your nearest Citizens Advice before applying for help.
If you’re aged 16 to 17 or you’ve recently been living in care, social services usually have to help you with housing. Find out more about when social services must house you.
If you can’t stay in your home because of violence, threats or any other abuse you can apply for homeless help. You can also get help from:
Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm
Calls to these numbers are free.
You can get council help if you're eligible and you're legally homeless or have been threatened with homelessness.
You’re usually eligible for help if you’re a British or Irish citizen living in the UK. If you’re a British or Irish citizen recently returned to the UK, the rules can be complex. It’s best to get advice from your nearest Citizens Advice.
You can only get housing help if you have:
You might also be able to get housing help if you both:
If none of these apply to you, you might be able to make a late application to the EU Settlement Scheme. You’ll need to have a good reason for missing the deadline of 30 June 2021. You can check how to make a late application.
You might be eligible for housing help if you’re a family member of someone from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein. They'll need to have either:
Your family member’s right to reside depends on things like their work, family and personal situation. You can check if they have a right to reside.
You might be eligible for housing help if you’re a family member of someone who was born in Northern Ireland and they’re a British or Irish citizen – or both. First you’ll need to get pre-settled status or settled status – check if you can apply for pre-settled or settled status on GOV.UK.
If you have settled status, you can apply for housing help.
If you have pre-settled status, the rules are complicated – talk to an adviser to check if you can apply for housing help.
You might also be eligible, for example if you:
Before you try to get housing help, talk to an adviser.
You can apply for housing help if you:
don’t have citizenship of any country
are habitually resident with stateless ‘leave to remain’ in the UK - check if you’re habitually resident
To get help from the council you’II need to be either legally homeless or threatened with homelessness.
You’re legally homeless if:
You're classed as being threatened with homelessness if:
If you qualify for help the council will first check if they can help you find a new home if you’re already homeless. If you’re threatened with homelessness they’II see if they can help you stay in your home.
You’II usually be given help for 8 weeks. If you're threatened with homelessness and have been given a valid section 21 notice you must be given help for longer.
If you’re threatened with homelessness and your situation changes so you become legally homeless you’II get help for another 8 weeks. You’II be given help to find a new home.
The council has to work with you to put together a written housing plan, saying exactly how they’II help you stay in your home or find a new one.
For example, if you’re threatened with homelessness they might be able to negotiate with your landlord so you can stay in your home. If you’re already homeless they might be able to give you a deposit to get private rented housing. Find out more about getting a housing plan.
If the council can’t help you stay in your home or find a new one they’II check if they can give you other help. You might be able to get emergency housing or longer- term housing.
You can get short-term emergency housing straight away if the council think all these things might apply:
If you're threatened with homelessness you can't get emergency housing, but if you later become legally homeless you might be able to get it.
If you're offered emergency housing you could be placed in a bed and breakfast or hostel while the council decides if you qualify for longer-term housing. Find out more about getting emergency housing.
You can check what to do if you have nowhere to stay tonight and you can’t get emergency housing.
You’II be in priority need if you’re:
You’re also in priority need if it would be more difficult for you to cope with being homeless because of your needs. This is known as being ‘vulnerable’. You might be vulnerable for example because of a disability or old age.
Your local council might also decide you’re vulnerable if you have a medical condition which increases your risk if you get coronavirus.
The council should check if anyone else in your household has a priority need. This includes anyone who it would be reasonable to expect to be living with you. For example, your partner might not be able to live with you because your home is overcrowded.
The council might not check if anyone else in your household has a priority need, so make sure you tell them if anyone does. This will help you get the help you need.
Your local council might be able to help you even if you don’t have a priority need. Contact the council and ask if they can help you. You can find your local council’s contact details on GOV.UK.
In certain cases you can still be treated as being in priority need after you're given housing by the council. This would apply if you were placed in private rented housing and had to reapply for homeless help within 2 years through no fault of your own. Your council should offer you somewhere else to live in this case.
If you qualify for emergency housing help, you might be able to get longer-term housing if you didn’t cause your homelessness, known as being ‘intentionally homeless’
The council might also refer you to another council to be housed if you don’t have a local connection, for example by living in the area for sometime.
If you qualify for help you might be offered a council or housing association flat or house, but you could be offered a private rented home instead. Find out more about getting housing from the council.
You usually won't get longer-term housing if the council thinks you made yourself homeless. This includes if you:
If you qualify for longer-term housing the council will only have to give you housing if you have a local connection. Don't worry, you'll still be housed but it might be by another council.
If you don't have a local connection the council can refer you to another council that you have a connection to. They can't do this if you would be at risk of violence in that area. For example, if you have an abusive ex-partner in the area. Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you're referred to an area where you would be at risk.
The council might accept you have a local connection to your area if:
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