A Guide to Homelessness
Help from the council
What help can I get from the council?
The help you can get depends on your personal circumstances:
Advice and assistance - If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness
Temporary accommodation - If you have nowhere to stay while the council is looking at your personal circumstances, you should be given somewhere to stay temporarily.
Permanent housing - If you have to leave your home or you are already homeless you may also be entitled to permanent housing.
Applying as homeless
The council must help you if you're homeless or will be in the next 2 months.
You make a homeless application by going to your local council and say that you are there to make a homeless application. The council will then need to check out the details of how you have become homeless and your personal circumstances.
You will be asked to fill in a homelessness application form and then you will have an interview with a homelessness officer.
If you have no where to stay then the council should offer you temporary accommodation.
Who can make a homelessness application?
Only one person has to make the application on behalf of the whole household. Your household consists of:
Anyone who currently lives with you, and
Anyone who could be expected to live with you if you had accommodation where you could all live together.
The homelessness interview
At the interview you have the right to:
Be interviewed in a private room where you won't be overheard
Choose to be interviewed by a man or woman
Take a friend or an adviser with you
Have an interpreter if English is not your first language
Have a sign langauge interpreter if you have a hearing impairment
You will then be asked some questions about your situation and how you became homeless. These will include questions about:
How many people there are in your household
Where you have been living
Why you had to leave your accommodation and if you will be able to return there
Any health problems in your household
Any problems you have had with domestic abuse or other forms of harassment
Your financial circumstances
There are several 'tests' you will need to pass before you will be eligible for a permanent home. The section on making a homeless application explains what these are.
What happens after the interview?
If you have nowhere to stay, you should be offered temporary accommodation whilst the council looks into your situation. Also, the council should also arrange to store your personal belongings if you're not able to do this yourself.
Last updated: 4 October 2020