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Home > Housing > Homelessness advice > What is homelessness?

What is homelessness?

You will be classed as homeless if any of the following apply:

  • You have no accommodation available in the UK or elsewhere
  • You cannot go home because of the risk of violence
  • Your family has no home where you can live together
  • You have a home but cannot get in
  • You have a home but it is considered unreasonable for you to live there

The law ensures that all cases are considered in a fair and consistent way.


There are five key issues that need to be considered:


  • Are you eligible for help?
  • Are you homeless?
  • Are you in priority need?
  • Are you intentionally homeless?
  • Do you have a connection in the District?


We will normally only provide you with accommodation if you can answer "yes" to all these questions.

The law also requires us to assess your housing needs if you are threatened with homelessness within 28 days.

We must provide temporary housing, to vulnerable households who are homeless through no fault of their own, until a more settled solution becomes available.


Are you eligible for help?

If you have come to live in Babergh or Mid Suffolk Districts from another country, we must first decide whether we have a right to help you.

This is because the law says we must check your residence and immigration status.


To check your residence status we will need to know whether this is or has become your home and we will do this by looking at:

  • How long you have lived here
  • Whether you are the resident of another Country
  • How long you are planning to remain
  • We will also look into your work and family situation


When looking into your immigration status, it is very unlikely that we will be able to help you if any of the following situations apply:

  • You did not apply for asylum at the port of entry
  • You have been refused asylum even if you are appealing against the decision
  • You have limited leave to remain in the Country
  • You have outstayed your visa
  • You are in the Country illegally
  • You passport confirms that you are not entitled to claim "public funds"


If your residency or immigration is being questioned, it is important that you receive specialist advice


Do you have a local connection?


We have to decide if we have a duty to help or whether another Council should help instead.

To help make this decision we have to decide whether you have a local connection.

You will have a local connection if:

  • You live, or have lived, in the area for some time - usually at least six months in the last year, or three out of the last 5 years
  • You have a regular job in the area
  • You have a close relative you wish to live near who has lived in the area for five years
  • You need to live within the area for a special reason
  • You have no local connection with any other area If we decide that you do not have a local connection with us, we will refer you to another Council where a connection can be established.


If you are actually homeless and in priority need, we will also provide you with temporary accommodation whilst the other Council considers your case further.