About priority need

What to expect based on your needs

If you have priority need

If we have reason to believe you are homeless, eligible for help and may be in priority need, we will provide you with temporary accommodation. We will do this until we have made a decision on whether you are in priority need.

Once we have assessed you as having priority need, we will then work with you to find suitable longer-term accommodation.

  • If we offer you suitable accommodation and you refuse it, we will have no further duty to help you.
  • If you refuse to co-operate with the steps in your personalised housing plan, and are in priority need, we will make offer you a 'final accommodation offer. This can be a tenancy with a private landlord. This is usually called an assured shorthold tenancy.

If you are intentionally homeless and in priority need, we will provide you with temporary accommodation for a reasonable period. Will also offer you advice and assistance to help you secure longer-term accommodation.

If you do not have priority need

If you are eligible for help but do not have a priority need, we will help you for 56 days to try and find somewhere to live.

This accommodation must be somewhere you can live for at least six months.

The help we can offer includes: 

Our duty to help you can also come to an end if:

  • you have found suitable accommodation that is likely to last for six months or more.
  • you refuse an offer of accommodation that is likely to last for six months or more. 
  • we believe that you have 'deliberately and unreasonably refused to co-operate'.  
  • you withdraw from the process.

We will give you written notice that the process is coming to an end. This letter will also explain to you how you can ask for a review if you disagree with our decision.

Find out more about priority need on Shelter's website.