Do you need somewhere to live? Are you worried you might become homeless?

If you have nowhere to live, or you can’t stay in the place you have been living, then you are entitled to help with housing from your local council. Some examples of when young people can ask the council for help with housing are:  

  • if you are staying on a friend’s couch
  • you are in supported accommodation or supported lodgings
  • if you are not safe where you have been living
  • if things are very bad between you and other people you live with
  • if you have your own place, but you have been told you could be evicted

If you are in these situations or if you have nowhere to live then then you fit the legal definition of being homeless or threatened with homelessness and that means you are entitled to help from the council.

The council must help you if you are homeless or if you are worried you might become homeless.

The council must help you even if you are not from the local area where you are applying.

The council must help you if you have somewhere to stay right now but are worried you might become homeless soon – you don’t have to wait until you have nowhere to go until you get help.

If the council won’t help you or won’t let you apply, then contact us for advice and help straight away.

You can make a homeless application by getting in touch with your local council. During the Covid-19 period you will be able to make an application by phone. You will have a phone interview with a homelessness officer who will fill out an application form with you.

When you apply the council must provide you with temporary accommodation while they look at your application and make a decision about giving you somewhere permanent to live.

If the council don’t give you somewhere to stay when you apply then you should contact us straight away to check whether we can help you challenge the decision, and get somewhere to stay.

Young people who are

  • 16 or 17 years old or
  • are under 21 and have been previously looked after by the council

have additional legal rights to accommodation and to support. You can contact us and we will help you work out what you are entitled to as a young person or as a young person with care experience.

If the council make a decision that you are not entitled to a permanent home, or if they tell you that you have to leave temporary accommodation, then you can contact us for advice to check whether we can help you challenge the decision.

Young people who were looked after on or after their 16th birthday are known as care leavers and are entitled to support and accommodation through ‘After Care’. That is separate to getting help from the housing team at the council. The council must tell you about After Care if you ask them to give you help with housing. If you are a care leaver and you are homeless or worried about becoming homeless you should contact us for advice straight away.

This is intended as a guide to the situation in April 2020 and not as an authoritative statement and interpretation of the law. If you have any questions or would like further information please call 0808 129 0522 or email [email protected].