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Council housing if you're homeless

Date: 9 November 2012

If you're homeless, or you will be homeless soon, you can ask your local council for help with housing. Up to now, if your council decided that they had to find you somewhere to live, they could offer you social housing, such as a council or housing association place. If they offered you privately rented accommodation, you didn't usually have to accept it. You could have waited until the council offered you social housing. This is changing from 9 November.

If you apply as homeless from this date, councils can offer you privately rented accommodation instead of social housing. If you refuse, the council won't usually have to make you another offer.

If you're offered a privately rented place to live, it would have to be for at least one year. It also has to be suitable and affordable for you and meet certain standards, such gas and electricity safety. If you think the property isn't suitable, you can ask the council to look at its decision again. If you're unsure whether to accept or refuse an offer of accommodation or if you think it may be unsuitable, it's best to speak to an adviser first.

Even though councils may make more offers of private rented accommodation, they can still offer council or housing association housing if you're homeless.

More about finding a place to live.

Citizens Advice

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