Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Many people are worried about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how this could affect their housing. Click here to find out what COVID-19 means for you.

Homelessness

This section explains what homelessness is, how it can be avoided, how you can get help and what to do if you’re sleeping rough.

You don’t have to be living on the street to be homeless. You may be sleeping on a friend’s sofa, staying in a hostel, or living in overcrowded or unsuitable accommodation.

If you need to talk urgently to someone, call our helpline.

For urgent advice please call our expert housing advice helpline on 08000 495 495

or, for non-urgent enquiries please use our email advice service. An adviser will aim to reply to emails within five working days.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

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 anywhere 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.

For more information about what the council can do to help you during the pandemic, click here.

If you are given emergency accommodation or are already living in emergency accommodation, you will be expected to stick to the rules the Government has set to prevent coronavirus spreading. These are :

  • to stay indoors and away from others
  • to only go outside for food, health reasons or work.

The council or your landlord will probably give you a letter with the important rules you need to keep to. Make sure you ask for help if you do not understand anything in the letter. If you do not stick to the rules you could be reported and action taken against you. You could also risk being asked to leave the accommodation.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus you will need to self-isolate for 7 days. The council or your landlord should help you access somewhere suitable to self-isolate during that period. This might be where you are currently staying or, if not suitable for self-isolation, somewhere else. They should also provide you with the support you need, food and medical help if needed.

If you are in a hostel you may be given a separate isolation pod away from others and separate hygiene facilities.

You can find out more about how to help stop the infection from spreading here  and find out more about the coronavirus here.

What is homelessness?

You may be homeless if you live in unsuitable housing, don’t have rights to stay where you are or you’re sleeping rough.

Avoiding homelessness

There are sometimes ways to avoid becoming homeless, even when the situation appears hopeless.

Your rights if you are homeless

Find out what your basic rights are if you are homeless or are likely to be homeless soon. You may have more rights than you think.

Emergency accommodation

If you are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, and need somewhere to stay in an emergency there may be a number of options available to you.

Getting help from the council

Local councils have legal duties to help people who are homeless or in danger of losing their home. In most cases the council will have to provide you with advice and may have to help you find a home.

Getting help from social services

If you are homeless or about to become homeless, the councils’ social services department might be able to help you.

Sleeping on the streets

If you are sleeping rough, there is help available. Specialist services such as day centres, outreach teams and night shelters might be able to help you.

EU and EEA nationals

People from the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) may be able to get help from the council if they become homeless.

Asylum seekers

If you are an asylum seeker, a refugee or are appealing against an unsuccessful asylum claim, you may be entitled to housing and support.

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.

This page was last updated on: April 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.

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