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Homeless Information

Are you eligible for assistance?

Most people are eligible for assistance.  However, some people from abroad are not eligible.  You are probably not eligible for assistance if:

  • you are an asylum seeker.  Most asylum seekers get temporary housing arranged by the UK Border Agency, a part of the Home Office;
  • you are from abroad and have limited rights to remain in the UK, or you have stayed longer than the time you were allowed;
  • you are from abroad and you are not entitled to claim ‘public funds’;
  • you are in the UK illegally (the council can investigate your immigration status and inform the Home Office if it thinks you came to the UK illegally).

If you are unsure of your immigration status, you may need to get help from an immigration adviser.

Are you homeless or about to become homeless?

If you are homeless or about to become homeless, we will carry out a homeless assessment to see if the council has a legal duty to provide you with somewhere to live or if we have other duties to help you.


Applying as homeless

To apply as homeless you must first of all call the Housing Options Team for your area. 

When approaching us you need to be very clear about the housing circumstances in which you find yourself. 

You will be advised what will happen during the housing assessment and typically you will be asked to bring along the following: 

  • ID ( such as passport or birth certificate);
  • Proof of your income ( such as wage slips, welfare benefit entitlements);
  • Your tenancy agreement ( if you have one);
  • If you are being evicted, any letters you have received from your landlord or lender, or any notification from the court; 

If your homelessness application is confirmed that you meet the criteria then you and your family will be owed the ‘full’ housing duty. This means the council will find you suitable accommodation. You will be provided with accommodation until the the duty ends usually the duty comes to an end when you are made a final offer of long-term accommodation. Before this happens, you might receive one or more offers of temporary accommodation. 

The final offer could be an offer of council or housing association housing from the housing register, or an assured shorthold tenancy with a fixed-term of at least one year from a private landlord. 

A final offer will be made in writing. It will tell you that if you turn down the accommodation the council’s duty to continue to house you might end. It will also advise you that you can ask for a review of the suitability of the offer.

How do I get owed the full duty?

For the council to owe you the full housing duty, we must be satisfied that you meet all five key points below in that you: 

  • (i) are homeless – under the law you can be homeless even if you have a roof over your head but, for example, you do not have rights to occupy the property, or it is unreasonable for you to continue to occupy it; 
  • (ii) are eligible for assistance – this will mainly depend on immigration status; 
  • (iii) are in priority need – not everyone who is homeless has a priority need; 
  • (iv) have not made yourself homeless intentionally– the council will look into why you became homeless; 
  • (v) have a local connection with the council you are applying to – if not, we may refer you to another council.

Are you in priority need?

You are in priority need if you:

  • or someone you live with, is pregnant;
  • are responsible for dependent children;
  • are homeless as a result of flood, fire or other disaster;
  • are a ‘vulnerable’ person;
  • are aged 16 or 17, unless social services has a responsibility for you;
  • are aged 18–20 and were ‘looked after’ by social services (even for one day) when you were aged 16 or 17 (unless you are a student in full-time higher or further education whose accommodation is not available during the holidays, in which case social services has to help you until you are 24).

Are you intentionally homeless?

Generally speaking most people will apply for help from the local council in the area they live if they become homeless.  However, you can apply to any council you wish.  It is unlawful for a council to turn you away or tell you to apply to another council because you do not have a local connection with their area. 

If the council decides you are homeless, eligible for assistance, in priority need and not intentionally homeless, it can then check to see if you have a local connection in the area.

You have a local connection with an area if you (or someone in your household): 

  • have a job in the area; 
  • live, or have lived, in the area for at least six months in the last year or three of the last five years; 
  • have a close relative who has lived in the area at least five years– this is usually restricted to a parent, adult child, brother or sister you wish to live near to; 
  • need to live in the area for a special reason, such as to receive specialist health care or because you had lived in the area for a long time in the past

Are you legally homeless?

The legal definition of ‘homelessness’ covers more than being out on the streets.  You will be considered homeless if: 

  • you have nowhere to live in the UK or anywhere else in the world; 
  • you can’t stay in your home because of violence or threats of violence; 
  • you have nowhere you can live together with your family or anyone else who lives or could reasonably be expected to live with you, for example your children, partner or carer; 
  • you don’t have permission to stay where you are, for example if you’re a squatter; 
  • you’ve been locked out of your home and are not allowed back; 
  • your home is a boat, mobile home or caravan and there is nowhere you are allowed to put it; 
  • you have somewhere to live but it isn’t reasonable for you to stay there. This may be due to serious overcrowding, very bad conditions affecting your health, or because you cannot afford your housing costs.

You can also apply to the council if you are likely to become homeless within 28 days.  This includes circumstances where: 

  • you’ve been taken to court by your landlord and the court has said you must leave within 28 days; 
  • you’ve been living with friends or relatives and they’ve asked you to leave within 28 days.

Domestic Violence and Abuse

If you are scared, feeling threatened or you are being controlled by your partner, ex-partner for family member, then you may be experiencing domestic abuse.  It can include emotional, physical, financial, stalking, sexual abuse and most recently coercive and controlling behaviour.  You are not alone.  Domestic violence or abuse affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men at some time in their life. Anyone can experience domestic abuse, any gender, age, race, religious group, class, ethnicity, disability.  It is important to remember that you are not to blame for domestic violence.

There is a 24 hour free phone helpline in Nottinghamshire for women experiencing domestic violence.  To talk to someone about what you are going through or to get advice or support in leaving contact:

0808 800 0340 (24 hours)

0808 800 0341 textphone only (9-5)

Planning to leave:  Try to:

  • Save some money for a taxi or bus fares;
  • Take an extra set of keys for house/car;
  • Keep together things you might need to take with you – keys, benefit books, medical cards, passport, marriage certificate, address book, bank details, house documents;
  • Leave when it's safe to do so – the helpline can help you plan this;
  • Remember your mobile phone (if you have one);
  • Take any essential medicines for you and your children;
  • Take enough clothes and a few of your children’s favorite things;
  • Confide in a friend/family member - perhaps leave a bag, money, documents with them or stay there overnight if you have to leave in an emergency;
  • Ensure children know how to call 999 and what to say.

Other domestic violence support numbers you can call for help:

Across Nottinghamshire there are specialist domestic violence organisations: these might offer drop in sessions, offer emergency housing and phone support and advice.


Broxtowe Women’s Project

01773 718555

Midland’s Women’s Aid

0115 9257647

Newark Women’s Aid   

01636 679687

(NIDAS) North Nottinghamshire Independent Domestic Abuse Service

01623 683250

Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid

01909 533610


Amber House Refuge    

0115 9414279

Roshni (Nottingham Asian Women’s Aid)

0115 9242864

Umuada Refuge

0115 9753254

Shine (housing related support)   

0115 8220833

Refs for Pets (if you need your pets housing if you leave)

07971 337264

Equation (for men)

0115 9623237



Other useful numbers/resources

Lets talk wellbeing (9-5pm)

01909 512351

Topaz Centre (sexual abuse and violence)

0845 6001588

Galop (same sex abuse)
(10-8 Mon, Thurs) and (10-5 Tues, Weds, Fri)

0800 999 5428

Nottingham Rape Crisis

0115 9410440

Victim Support Nottinghamshire (support on domestic violence for men and women)

0845 4503899

Forced Marriage Helpline 

0800 5999247

Forward (Female Genital Mutilation)

020 89604000


0800 1111

National Domestic Violence 24 hr helpline

0808 2000247

Things to Remember:-

If you are or someone you know is in danger or at serious risk, contact 999 immediately.

To access refuge, plan leaving, make a safety plan or just talk contact:

0808 800 0340 24 hours a day (language line available in 100 languages)

0808 800 0341 (Text Phone 9.00a.m. – 5.00p.m.)

This helpline is run by the Women’s Aid & Refuge

Helpline number for Agencies and referrals - 0115 9476490 (professionals who may be supporting a woman or child and needs advice