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What to do if you become homeless

Becoming homeless is generally not something that people actively choose to do. Therefore, if you cannot prevent yourself from becoming homeless, or are already homeless, we can help.  
Contact the Homelessness Advice and Prevention Team and ask for a homeless assessment to be carried out.
Your individual circumstances will determine how much help we can give you.
The assessment will find out if you:

  • are eligible for assistance
  • are homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • are in priority need
  • are intentionally or unintentionally homeless
  • have a local connection to the West Lancashire area

1. Eligible for assistance 

We are only able to help  British citizens or people from abroad who are entitled to receive public funds. Examples of public funds are income benefits and council housing.
If you are not entitled to help, then unfortunately we cannot offer you a home.
If you are not sure whether you are entitled to help, contact us to find out more.

2. Homeless or threatened with homelessness

The law says that someone is homeless if:

  • they do not have a home anywhere in the world that they can legally live in
  • they have a home but cannot enter it
  • they live in a boat or mobile home but do not have anywhere to place it
  • they have a home but it would not be reasonable for them to live there 

3. In priority need 

You have a priority need if:

  • you are pregnant
  • you have children living with you full-time who are aged under 16 (or over 16 if they are dependent on you because of a disability)
  • you are vulnerable because of old age, mental illness, disability, being in care (aged 18-20), being in the armed forces, being in prison or being the victim of violence or threats of violence
  • you are homeless because of an emergency such as a fire or flood

4. Intentionally or unintentionally homeless 

Intentionally homeless:
You may be classed as intentionally homeless if you have done or failed to do something which has led to you becoming homeless. An example would be someone who has moved out of a property without being asked to do so.
Unintentionally homeless:
An unintentionally homeless person is someone who is homeless through no fault of their own.

5. Local Connection

You will have a local connection to West Lancashire if you have lived here for 6 out of the last 12 months, or 3 out of the last 5 years; have close family living here; or if you are employed in the borough.

More information: