In England, your council must help if you’re legally homeless or will become homeless within 56 days.

A person does not need to be sleeping rough to be legally homeless.

The Housing Act 1996 defines a person as homeless if they either:

  • have no accommodation available to occupy
  • are at risk of violence or domestic abuse
  • have accommodation but it is not reasonable for them to continue to occupy it
  • have accommodation but cannot secure entry to it
  • have no legal right to occupy their accommodation
  • live in a mobile home or houseboat but have no place to put it or live in it.

More information on homelessness and what you can do if you are homeless is available at the following links:

Homelessness Charities

There are many charities across the UK campaigning on behalf of and providing advice to homeless people, including:

For a complete list of Homelessness Charities follow this link.

To find Homelessness Charities in your area use the above link and on the left of the screen filter by the required region.

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) 

The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) is activated when temperatures fall below 0°C and ensures councils open additional emergency accommodation for people sleeping rough.

More information on SWEP and rough sleeping in winter is available at the following links:

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