We have a range of duties under legislation laid down by government, to help homeless people. This help may be giving advice and information or finding long term housing.
When we look at your homeless applications we have to be satisfied that you are:
- in priority need (as defined in legislation)
- homeless through no fault of your own, and
- have a local connection with the district.
We need to ask you the following questions:
Not everyone who is homeless is eligible for help with housing. If you are a British Citizen, a European Economic Area national or a settled person you are likely to be eligible.
Please Note: The legislation makes certain people from abroad ineligible for housing assistance. If you have no recourse to public funds or do not pass a Habitual Residency Test, we will be unable to help you, but can offer you housing advice. Please contact us for further information.
Homeless is a term which covers a range of situations which people find themselves in. You may be homeless if:
- You have nowhere to stay tonight
- You have been staying somewhere but have no legal rights to stay there and are being told to leave
- You have been locked out of your home and told not to go back
- You have somewhere to live but are likely to face violence if you return
- You are forced to live apart from someone you normally live with, or who we considers it would be reasonable for you to live with
- You are forced to leave your home because of harassment
- You have a mobile home, caravan or boat but do not have anywhere to put it or that you can live in.
Please Note: We will not usually consider you as homeless unless you are within 28 days of losing your accommodation, but we will investigate and try to prevent you becoming homeless before this. We can also provide you with advice to ensure that your accommodation remains available to you or to help you find alternative solutions to your housing problems. Please contact us for further information.
The legislation helps decide the groups of people who are in priority need. You may have a priority need if your circumstances are such that they would make you more vulnerable or disadvantaged if you were homeless and would include:
- Households with dependant children
- Pregnant women
- If you are homeless as a result of a disaster such as fire, flood or other disaster
- Under 18s
- Those who may be vulnerable due to old age, mental or physical illness or disability, suffering violence, or with an institutional background such as being in care, or prison.
- Vulnerable persons who have or are serving in the armed forces.
Please Note: People who are not in priority need will be provided with advice and assistance to help with housing problems. Please contact us for further information.
The homelessness law says you are intentionally homeless if:
- You deliberately gave up accommodation it would have been reasonable for you to have continued to occupy
- You deliberately did something, or failed to do something, which you knew would mean losing your accommodation, for example; due to non-payment of rent or anti-social behaviour
- You made arrangements to stay in accommodation on an insecure basis which gave you no legal rights, with the intention of making a homelessness application
- You failed to act on legal/financial, advice/assistance that you have been given to help you find alternative suitable accommodation or to help you stay in your home.
Please Note: If you are in priority need but homeless through your own fault, we have no duty to find you long-term accommodation. We will help you by giving advice and assistance. Please contact us for further information.
We will also be looking to see if you have a local connection within our area, this usually includes the following:
- That you have lived in settled accommodation in our area for a minimum of 6 out of the last 12 months or 3 out of the last 5 years
- That you have permanent employment here or
- That you have a close family member that has lived in the area for more than 5 years.
Please Note: If you have no local connection to the area but fulfil all the other criteria, we will refer you to the Council where you do have a local connection. There are exceptions to this for instance if you are fleeing violence from the area you are connected to.
You can find further information on accommodation on our tips on looking for accommodation page.