Help from the council - Shelter Cymru

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.

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.

In you need more information about what to do and how the council help, watch the video on the right hand side of this page.

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 want to speak to an adviser, call Shelter Cymru’s expert housing advice helpline on 08000 495 495 or visit advice near you to find an advice surgery.

Please note:

  • The advice on these pages applies if you contacted a council in Wales for help about your housing on or after the 27th April 2015.
  • If you are applying to a council in England then the rules are different and you should get advice from Shelter.


If you are living in shared accommodation, including a hostel or nightshelter, and are unwell, suspect that you may have COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS), or have been advised to self-isolate, it is essential that you minimise visiting shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas as much as possible.

If possible, ask for a suitable alternative self-contained space until you are fully recovered. This could be in the same building.

If there is no separate area, there are steps you can take to minimise the risk of infecting others:

  • keep shared spaces well ventilated if possible
  • stay 2 metres from other people and not do not share a bed with another person
  • if the toilet or bathroom facilities are shared, you should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using regular cleaning products before being used by anyone else
  • if a separate bathroom is not available, consider drawing up a rota for washing or bathing, with the person who is unwell using the facilities last, before thoroughly cleaning the bathroom themselves (if they are able or it is appropriate)
  • use separate body and hand towels from other people
  • avoid using shared kitchens whilst others are present
  • do not share crockery and cutlery
  • take your meals back to your room to eat and use a dishwasher (if available) to clean and dry crockery and cutlery.

For up to date advice and guidance on what to do if you need to self-isolate visit Gov.UK.

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.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
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: March 25, 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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