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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.

Help from the council when homeless

Your local council might have to help you if you are homeless or in danger of losing your home in the next 56 days. If you are in this situation, contact the council and ask to make a homelessness application. Make sure the person you speak to understands that you need help immediately.

The pages below provide lots more advice on getting help from the council and you could also look at our factsheet ‘Homeless? What can I do?

If you are applying to a council in England then the rules are different and you should get advice from Shelter.

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 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.

The Welsh Government currently expects councils to do all that they can to help you if you are at risk of sleeping rough, for example because you are :

  • due to leave prison or hospital but have no where safe to go
  • sofa surfing
  • living in unsuitable temporary accommodation.

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.

The video is available in Welsh. We are sorry that we cannot provide the remainder of the information on this page in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
email us

Overview of the council’s duties

Take a look at this useful overview of what help councils can provide in Wales if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

Who can apply as homeless?

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness within the next 56 days, then you can apply to the council for help in finding or keeping your accommodation. This is called making an homelessness application.

What will the council check?

What help you are entitled to from the council depends on your circumstances and there are a number of things that the council will need to check during their assessment of your case.

What help can the council provide?

In most cases the council will provide you with advice and help at an early stage. They may have to help you find a home, or in some situations, keep your current home. In other cases, the council may have a duty to make sure you are provided with a home.

What is a suitable offer?

Any accommodation the council offers must be considered suitable for you and your household. The council has to look at specific factors in deciding if the accommodation is suitable.

A council’s decision

There are special rules that the council must follow once it has made a decision about your homelessness application. This section explains those rules and what you can do if you don’t agree with the decision.

Referral to social services

If you are homeless and you apply to the council housing department for help, it may refer you to social services for assistance

This page was last updated on: May 4, 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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