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Am I in priority need?

Everybody needs somewhere to live, but certain groups of homeless people are legally defined as being in priority need. These people, and the members of their families, are in the following categories:

  • Those with dependent children of their own, or children they are responsible for. A dependent child is one under the age of 18, or under age 19 if in full-time education, and who normally resides with you
  • Those who are pregnant or have a member of their family who is pregnant. Proof of pregnancy would be needed
  • Those who are homeless because of an emergency such as a serious fire or flood
  • Those who are age 18-21 and are a former relevant child.
  • Those who are age 16 or 17

Some groups of people are excluded from these priority needs groups. The Council is unable to assist, as the duty to help with accommodation lies with Social Services. These groups are:

  • 'Relevant children' - children age 16 or 17 who were in care for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14, and were being looked after by a council on their 16th birthday
  • 'Relevant students'- relevant children who have gone into full time education and whose term time accommodation is not available to them
  • 'Children in need' - those owed a duty under section 20 of the Children Act 1989.

If you fall within one of these groups you should contact your social worker, or Social Services to get help with accommodation.

Those who the Council determine are more vulnerable than the average person who is homeless as a result of:

(a) age

(b) mental or physical ill health or disability

(c) leaving accommodation due to violence or threats of violence which are likely to be carried out

(d) having been in Her Majesty's Forces

(e) having been in custody

(f) having been fostered, in care or looked after by a local authority