Priority Need

The test of priority need was abolished on 31 December 2012, meaning that all non-intentionally homeless people are now entitled to permanent accommodation (subject to local connection).

The main categories were:

  • a pregnant woman

  • a person who is vulnerable as a result of old age, mental illness, personality disorder, learning disability, physical disability, chronic ill health, having suffered a miscarriage or undergone an abortion, having been discharged from a hospital, prison or any part of the regular armed forces, or other special reason

  • a person who has lost their accommodation as a result of an emergency such as flood, fire or other disaster

  • a person who resides or might reasonably be expected to reside with the persons referred to above

  • a person with whom dependant children reside or might reasonably be expected to reside

  • a person aged 16 or 17

  • a young person aged between 18 and 20 and living in circumstances which put them at risk of sexual or financial exploitation or misuse of alcohol or drugs, or who was, at the time that they ceased to be of school age (or at any subsequent time), looked after by a local authority, and is no longer looked after

  • a person whose religion, sexual orientation, race, colour, ethnic or national origins mean that s/he faces the risk of violence or harassment, or is likely to suffer harassment

  • a person who faces the risk of domestic abuse.

Local authorities may also have had duties to assist applicants under other legislation, for example the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

This content applies to Scotland

Last updated: 18 December 2019