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Housing and homelessness 

Housing and homeless support and advice for care-experienced young people. We're here to help.

I’m homeless - what can I do?

  • If you are homeless now or are going to become homeless in the next eight weeks, you should contact the housing department of your local council. This may be referred to as ‘presenting as homeless,’ or making a homelessness application.
     
  • Making a homelessness application does not always have to be made in person, you can often do this online, over the phone as well as in person. Look on your local council’s housing website to find out more. If you are not sure how to make this application, you can contact us on the advice line and we can help you find out.
     
  • The council must make an ‘assessment’ of your housing situation- that is, look into your situation and needs, and decide how they have to help.
     
  • Some individuals will be given ‘emergency housing’ whilst the council make this housing assessment. To be provided with emergency housing you must have nowhere to stay long term, meet immigration requirements, and be in ‘priority need’. Not everyone who makes a homelessness application is provided with emergency housing.
     

What is 'Priority Need'?

  • Care leavers who are under 18, 19 and 20 and are homeless are automatically seen as a ‘priority need’ for housing.
     
  • Care leavers who are 21 and over may be seen as a priority for housing depending on their needs. For example, those who are deemed as being  ‘vulnerable’ as a result of being in care, or who have physical or mental health needs, may also be seen as being in ‘priority need’ if they are over 21.
     
  • From July 2021, those who are homeless as a result of domestic abuse are automatically seen as being in ‘priority need’. 

For more information on making a homelessness application, priority need and what happens next, please visit Shelter.

Who should I talk to?

If you are a care leaver under 25 and are homeless, it’s really important to let your PA or your council’s Leaving Care team know. They have a duty to provide support and advice to help you access housing. If you are not sure how to contact your PA or leaving care team, you can contact the advice line.

Advice around housing and homelessness