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What will the council check?

When you make a homelessness application, the council will want to check certain information so that they can make decisions about what help to give you.


If you are sleeping rough, or at risk of finding yourself on the street during the pandemic, the council should 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 says it cannot help you, get advice from Shelter Cymru straight away.

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


From 1 January 2021 important new rules affect European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens applying for homelessness help from the council.

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen living in the UK on 31st December 2020 you must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to continue to be entitled to apply to the council for social housing and homelessness help. The deadline to apply is the 30th June 2021.

For more details about these new rules and how to apply to the EUSS, click here.

What information will the council check?

The council will want to know:

  • the circumstances that have caused you to become homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • your housing needs, and those of any person living with you
  • whether you, or any person living with you, needs support
  • what you want to achieve from making the application.

The officer should allow you to explain your situation and allow you to feel able to discuss all of your options and concerns.

The council will look at the information you provide and any documents you take with you. Have a look at our Items to support a homeless application checklist which sets out the type of information that you should take with you.

The council may also contact people and organisations that know about your housing situation to find out more about your circumstances. This might include your previous landlord or mortgage lender and/or any agencies that have provided support for you in the past.

If there are people you do not want the council to contact because, for example, you have been experiencing violence or threats, you should say so.

What decisions will the council make?

At different stages in your application, the council might need to decide:

  • whether you are homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • whether you are eligible for assistance
  • whether you are in priority need
  • whether you have a local connection with the area.

The council may also decide to check whether you are intentionally homeless, although not all councils will do this.

Each of these criteria have special legal meanings. For more information on each criteria and when they are considered click on the links below:

Legal definition of homelessness

The council will have to decide if you meet the legal definition of being homeless or threatened with homelessness.

Eligibility for assistance

The council will want to decide if you are legally eligible to receive homelessness assistance.

Priority need

When deciding whether you are entitled to emergency housing or a duty to secure final accommodation, the council will want to consider whether you are in ‘priority need’.

Intentional homelessness

In some circumstances, when deciding whether it must find you a place to live, the council can decide to look at the law to see if you are intentionally homeless.

Local connection

The council may check if you have a local connection to the area. If you do not have a local connection it can decide to send you to another area, provided you have a connection with that other area and you are not at risk of abuse there.

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: April 14, 2021

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.