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.