About priority need
What is priority need?
Priority need is one of the tests which a homeless person needs to pass for us to decide what help with housing you might be entitled to.
Other tests include whether the person is eligible for homeless assistance in terms of their immigration status, actually homeless, homeless through no fault of their own or intentionally homeless and has a local connection with the local area (determined by the local authority boundaries) where they are making their application.y
Automatic priority need
The following people are automatically in priority need:
- A pregnant woman or any person living with a pregnant woman.
- Households with children who live with them or who might reasonably be expected to reside with them.
- 16 and 17 year olds who are not being looked after by social services under the Children Act 1989.
- 18 – 20 year olds (other than some students) who at any time between 16 and 18 were, but are no longer, looked after, accommodated or fostered • Any person who has lost their accommodation as a result of an emergency (e.g. fire or flood or other disaster).
- A person who is homeless as a result of that person being a victim of domestic abuse.
Other than this a single person will only be classed a priority need if they can demonstrate they are vulnerable.
A homeless person may be 'vulnerable', in the words of s189 (1) (c) Housing Act 1996 and the Homelessness (Priority Need for Accommodation) (England) Order 2002, as a result of:
- old age
- mental illness
- mental handicap
- physical disability
- having been in care (and now 21 or over)
- having been in the armed forces
- having been in custody
- having fled actual or threatened violence or
- other special reason
The words ‘other special reason’ show that vulnerability arising from other causes (e.g. being a refugee) which will also be considered by our team.