GetAgent
Back
Close
  • Compare agents
  • Online valuation
  • Explore my area
  • Home toolkit
  • News & guides
  • Estate agents by area
  • Sold house prices by area
Estate agents by area
Search by Location or Name
  • Selling guides
  • Estate agent guides
  • Mortgage advice
  • Conveyancing guides
  • Property news
  • See All News & Guides
Sign in
Agent shortlist
HouseWorth
© GetAgent Limited 2024
  1. Blog
  2. Do I qualify for emergency housing?
Advice about properties
09 February 2024

Do I qualify for emergency housing?

Kimberley Taylor
Writer & Researcher

Table of contents

  1. 1. What is emergency housing?
  2. 2. Who can get emergency housing?
  3. 3. What help can you get?
  4. 4. Priority need
  5. 5. What the council should offer you
  6. 6. Bed and breakfast, hotel and hostel accommodation
  7. 7. Housing in a different area
  8. 8. If you’re not happy with what you’ve been offered
  9. 9. Summary: Talk to your local council

Being without a home can be very daunting and stressful. However, there is help available to those in need of emergency housing, from people who are declared legally homeless to those at risk of violence in their current home.

In this article, we'll take you through what emergency housing is, the criteria you need to meet in order to qualify, and how you can apply for emergency housing. Let's take a look.

What is emergency housing?

Emergency housing, also known as interim accommodation, refers to short term accommodation where you can stay while the council looks into your housing situation after you've made a homeless application.

They will also decide if they must help you find longer term housing. If the council decides you meet the criteria for longer term housing, you might be given temporary accommodation until the council can find you a longer term home.

Who can get emergency housing?

There are a number of criteria that would make you eligible for emergency housing. The council must provide you with emergency accommodation if:

  • They think you might be legally homeless.
  • You have a priority need, for example you have children, you're pregnant, you're at risk of domestic abuse or other violence, or you're otherwise vulnerable.
  • You meet immigration status conditions.

In England, your local council has a responsibility to help you if you're legally homeless, or you will become homeless in the next eight weeks.

To be considered homeless, you'll need to fit into certain criteria. For example:

  • You can't stay at home because you're at risk of domestic abuse or other violence.
  • You don't have the legal right to live in accommodation anywhere in the world.
  • You can't get into your home, for example your landlord or partner has locked you out.
  • You live in very poor conditions like overcrowding or serious damp.
  • You're forced to live apart from the people you normally live with because there's nowhere for you to stay.

What help can you get?

The local council can offer a number of different types of support when it comes to homeless help. It may be as simple as offering advice, but they may also offer support like short term emergency housing, longer term housing, or further advice to help you stay in your home.

How you receive help will depend on why you're homeless, what type of help you're eligible for, and if you're in priority need. You may also need to be a British citizen, as if you're from abroad you may have immigration status.

Priority need

You may be eligible for priority need if you or someone you live with is pregnant. You may also be eligible if you have dependent children living with you (this means they're under 16 or under 19 and in full time education).

You may also class as priority need if you're younger than 21 and were in care at the ages of 16 to 18 years old.

Or, if you're assessed by the council as vulnerable such as old age, suffering from a disability or suffering under domestic abuse, you may be considered eligible for priority need.

You may also be made homeless after a flood, fire or other kind of disaster.

If you're part of a tenancy or licence agreement, you need to make sure you keep to the terms. Otherwise, you may be evicted and the council might not be able to offer you another home.

What the council should offer you

If you qualify for homeless help, the council must offer you accommodation immediately, and it must be suitable for you and any family that usually lives with you.

They'll take into account any salary, benefits, savings and pensions you have, as well as any medical needs you have to ensure the home is suitable for you and your family. They'll also make sure the residence conditions are safe to live in.

Bed and breakfast, hotel and hostel accommodation

Domestic abuse victims mustn't be forced to stay in mixed sex housing.

Those with children or pregnant shouldn't usually have to stay in a hostel, hotel or bed and breakfast for over six weeks. If you find yourself in this situation, you should contact the council to inform them it's no longer suitable housing.

However, if you've only been in the UK for less than two years before you applied for homeless status, you may have to stay in this type of housing for longer than six weeks.

Housing in a different area

The council might offer you housing in a different area if there isn't enough in your current location.

They'll consider where you were living before and how close the new housing is to your old home, and how this affects services you need to visit regularly (such as schools, your workplace, or local hospital).

If you’re not happy with what you’ve been offered

Your housing needs to be suitable for your needs. You can informally ask the council to move you, but they aren't legally obliged to. You may also formally challenge the decision.

However, it's usually best to accept the offer and ask the council to review the home. That means you won't be sleeping rough while the council reviews the home.

Summary: Talk to your local council

There are plenty of situations in which you might qualify for emergency housing. Always make sure to check the local council website to find out if you're eligible for emergency help and support, especially if the safety of you or your family is at risk of violence, homelessness or other danger.

Thinking about
selling your home?

Picking the right estate agent is vital for a successful sale. GetAgent makes choosing simple. Discover the best performing agents in your area.

  • Free
  • Data-driven
  • No obligation

Thinking about
selling your home?

Picking the right estate agent is vital for a successful sale. GetAgent makes choosing simple. Discover the best performing agents in your area.

  • Free
  • Data-driven
  • No obligation

Ready to compare agents?

It takes 2 minutes. 100% free. No obligation.

Related posts
Properties
What is a transfer of equity?
What is transfer of equity and what does it involve? Let’s take a look.
Read more
GetAgent
The Estate Agent comparison site
GetAgent Facebook iconGetAgent Twitter icon

For agents

  • Login
  • How to join

Get in touch

020 3608 6556

Our lines are closed

We are a company registered in England & Wales, company number 09428979.

Privacy policyTerms of use

Copyright © 2024 GetAgent Limited