Housing advice

Sometimes staying in your home and in your current city/town even can feel too unsafe due to the threats of violence and harm made to you or your children as a result of child exploitation. Know your options to present at other local authorities if you are experiencing threats of violence and who qualifies for this. Shelter have put the below information together and they also offer a confidential and free phone service to give you more information.

You can ask any council for homelessness help if you’re at risk in your home and can’t stay there.
The council must help with emergency housing if you’re classed as priority need.

Priority need

You will be in priority need if you:
• have dependent children under 18 (including step & foster children) living with you. Or children who are 18 and in full-time education or can’t support themselves for other reasons
• are assessed by the council as vulnerable
• are pregnant
• are aged 16 or 17
• are a care leaver age 18 to 20
• are homeless because of fire or flood

Why priority need is important

Your council must give you emergency housing if they think you might be homeless, meet immigration and residence conditions and be in priority need. You qualify for longer term housing if the council decide you’re in priority need and homeless through no fault of your own.

How the council decides if you’re vulnerable

The council decides if you’re vulnerable by looking at:
• if you can cope with being homeless
• how any disability or illness you have affects your daily life
• what support you get from friends, family or other services
• the risk of harm to you compared to the risk of harm to other homeless people

Supporting information from your GP, psychiatrist, social worker or other agencies can help. The letter should set out what harm you will suffer if you are on the streets.

You or a member of your household might be classed as vulnerable because of:
• old age or ill health
• physical or learning disabilities
• mental health problems
• fleeing domestic abuse or violence
• time spent in care, prison or the armed forces
• any other special reason

You’re not automatically classed as vulnerable if you fit into one of these groups.

Priority need during the coronavirus outbreak

You’re likely to be vulnerable if you have a medical condition or illness that puts you at higher risk from coronavirus, especially if you’ve been advised to shield. The council will confirm your condition with your GP or a specialist. You are also at increased risk from coronavirus if you have a history of rough sleeping and are over 55 or have underlying health conditions. The council must consider if this makes you vulnerable and in priority need.

What to do if the council states you are not in priority need

If the council say you’re not in priority need the council must write to you and explain their decision. You can ask for a review within 21 days if you think it’s wrong. You can sometimes challenge a refusal to provide emergency housing in court. A solicitor can tell you if you have a case.