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When must the council help me?

You have to meet a number of conditions for the council to help you, to do with your own personal situation, and how and why you are homeless, or about to lose your home.

When must the council help me?

The council must offer you somewhere if you are:

  • homeless through no fault of your own
  • in 'priority need', and
  • 'eligible for assistance'.

When offering you somewhere to live, the council should include all the people who normally live with you (or could be expected to live with you) as members of your family.

If you are not in ‘priority need’ or ‘eligible for assistance’ the council does not have to provide you with accommodation but should still be willing to advise you on your options.

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What if I need somewhere to stay straight away?

If the council believes that you are homeless, eligible for assistance and in priority need, then it must make sure you have somewhere to live immediately while it looks at your case. This could be bed-and-breakfast, hostel or hotel accommodation.

In England, if you or someone else in your household is pregnant or has responsibility for children, the council can house you in bed-and-breakfast accommodation in an emergency only, and then for a maximum of six weeks only. In Wales, there is no fixed time limit.

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