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What is classified as being homeless?

If you are legally homeless the local authority has a legal right to help you find a home. The amount of help that they must offer however is dependent on a number of factors, including circumstances in which you became homeless. If you live permanently in the UK, you will usually be eligible for assistance, however if you come from abroad you may not be, dependent on your immigration status.

You do not have to be sleeping on the streets to be classed as homeless. You can be classed as homeless if you are sleeping on a friend’s sofa or if the accommodation is unfit to live in e.g. because of overcrowding etc.

You are considered legally homeless if you fit the following criteria;
  • You have no legal right to live anywhere in the world
  • You can’t get into your home
  • It’s not reasonable for you to stay in your home e.g. because of domestic violence/abuse
  • You are forced to live apart from your family or people you normally live with because there is no suitable accommodation
  • ● You are living in very poor conditions e.g. overcrowding
The amount of help you will receive is dependent on:
  • Whether you became homeless by no fault of your own
  • If you are eligible for assistance
  • If you are a priority need
You will be classed as priority need if:
  • You or someone else is pregnant
  • You have dependent children living with you (under 16’s or under 19’s if in full time education)
  • You are vulnerable (e.g. old or have a disability)
  • You have become homeless after a disaster e.g. flood, fire etc.