Step-by-step guide

To making a homelessness application




If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness in 56 days, you should make an application to your local council. The council should give you free information and advice and if you are eligible for further help, they will do an assessment.




The council will want to work out what you can do together to solve your housing problem. They will ask you lots of questions and should ask you about any housing or support needs you have. They might prepare a personal housing plan for you, which will set out the steps that you must both take while you are working together.




If you are at risk of becoming homeless in the next 56 days, the council should do what they can to prevent you from becoming homeless. They should consider any course of action that might help you – this may include trying to help you keep your current home.


0013-apartment_grey 333333

Emergency Accommodation

If you are already homeless and the council think you may be in priority need, the council have a duty to provide you with emergency accommodation while they decide what other help to give you. This is sometimes a hostel, a refuge, or a B&B.

Priority Need

You will be in priority need if you or one of the people included in your application falls into a certain category. Find out more!



Help to secure

If the council can’t stop you from becoming homeless, or you are already homeless, they must help you to find a suitable home. This help lasts for 56 days after which the council must check if you are eligible for a ‘Final Duty to secure’ being accepted to you.



Final duty to secure

If the council have been unable to help you to find a home in 56 days and you are in priority need and not intentionally homeless they must find and offer you a suitable home. If you are not in priority need or the council have found you intentionally homeless, they might not have to help you any further. Get help if you are in this situation. An adviser might be able to help you challenge the council’s decision.

Intentionally homeless

The council might decide you are intentionally homeless if it finds that becoming homeless was your own fault. There are some circumstances where they must still offer you a home even if you are intentionally homeless.  Find out more!



Right to a Review

If you do not agree with the decisions made by the council at any stage of the process you can ask for a review. You can request a review by phone, in person or in writing but it must be done within 21 days of you receiving their decision. You also have the right to ask for a review hearing where you can explain in person why you think the council’s decision is wrong.

Want to Chat?

Call our expert housing helpline on
08000 495 495 9.30am – 4pm, Monday to Friday.

This service is in great demand so please be patient and if you are unable to get through the first time please try again.