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What help can the council provide?

Local councils have legal duties towards homeless people.  If you contact the council and you are homeless or in danger of losing your home in the next 56 days the council might have to :

  • give you advice and help with your housing
  • provide you with emergency accommodation
  • help you keep your home
  • help you find a home
  • provide you with a home.

What help you are given depends on your circumstances.

Applying as homeless is not the same as putting your name on the waiting list for a permanent council home. Make sure the person you speak to understands that you need help immediately because you are homeless.

The pages in this section provide more information about what help the council can give you.


Many local councils in Wales are working to provide accommodation and support during the coronavirus pandemic to people who are sleeping rough.

If you do not have any where to live you should contact your local council or your support worker as soon as you can. Find contact details for your local council here.

The council should help you make a homelessness application and, if you are sleeping rough, or at risk of finding yourself on the street, the council should decide that you are in priority need and give you emergency accommodation. This is because coronavirus can spread very easily and if you are sleeping on the streets it is very difficult for you to keep to the government health advice for hygiene, self-isolation and social distancing.

If you are in this situation and the council decides you are not in priority need, or says it cannot help you, get advice from Shelter Cymru straight away.

Help to prevent you becoming homeless

If you are eligible  for help and in danger of losing your home in the next 56 days, the council must help you to try and keep your current home. This is known as the duty to help to prevent homelessness, or “the prevention duty”.

Help to secure you accommodation

If you are eligible for help and homeless, the council must help you to find suitable accommodation. This is known as the duty to help to secure accommodation, or “the relief duty”.

Securing you accommodation

In some limited circumstances the council has a duty to secure accommodation for people who remain homeless even after help and advice has been given to them. This is known as the duty to secure accommodation or “the final duty”.

Personal housing plans

If you are eligible for help, homeless, or in danger of losing your home in the next 56 days the council will probably draw up a Personal Housing Plan with you.

Storage for personal belongings

The council may have a duty to protect your personal property if you are homeless.

Emergency housing

If you meet certain criteria the council may offer you emergency housing while they are deciding what other help to give you. This is sometimes known as ‘emergency or interim accommodation’.

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

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This page was last updated on: Tachwedd 30, 2020

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.