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  1. 1. Local authority housing assistance
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  3. 3. Housing association tenancies
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Local authority housing assistance

Homelessness assistance and housing allocations

The following types of housing assistance provided by a local council in England are classed as public funds for immigration purposes: 

  • Homelessness assistance under part VII of the Housing Act 1996
  • A local authority allocation of social housing (i.e. a council or housing association tenancy) made under part VI of the Housing Act 1996

A person who is subject to the 'No Recourse to Public Funds' (NRPF) condition, or who does not have any current immigration permission, will not be eligible for homelessness assistance or a housing allocation.

The housing eligibility rules for European Economic Area (EEA) nationals are similar to the eligibility rules that apply to means-tested benefits. An EEA national's immigration status will need to be established in the first instance. Find out more about benefit entitlement for EEA nationals

Housing eligibility rules can be complex, particularly when a person is living in a 'mixed household', where members have different types of immigration status, as this can affect what assistance the eligible person is entitled to. In such cases, specialist housing advice may need to be obtained. 

A person who is found to be ineligible for homelessness assistance by their local council must be provided with information and advice to help prevent their homelessness. This could include signposting to information about local immigration advisers or Home Office asylum support, or a referral to social services for support if they have children or care needs. Find out about support options for people with no recourse to public funds

For detailed information about housing eligibility rules, see the Shelter website and Housing Rights Information website.

Assistance for people who are rough sleeping

During the Covid-19 pandemic, councils have accommodated people with no recourse to public funds who were ineligible for homelessness assistance in order to save lives and reduce public health risks. This emergency response is often referred to as 'Everyone In'. Although the pandemic continues to present public health risks, the Government has not changed benefit or homelessness eligibility rules. The High Court identified powers that a council can use during a public health emergency to accommodate people with no recourse to public funds: section of the Local Government Act 1972 and section 2B of the National Health Service Act 2006. When a person is rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping, they would need to contact their local council's housing department or rough sleeper outreach service for advice about their options.