A Quick Q&A: What does it mean to be intentionally homeless?

Why are people labelled ‘intentionally homeless’? And what help is available for those who are ‘intentionally homeless’?


“Being ‘intentionally homeless’ means not being eligible for long term accommodation or assistance from the council – the most they will provide is advice.”


Why does the council say I am “intentionally homeless”?

There are a variety of reasons the council can label you as intentionally homeless:

  • If you have rejected an offer of accommodation, even if it was totally unsuitable.
  • If your home was provided as part of a job and you have now been sacked or chosen to leave your job.
  • If your rent was affordable but you didn’t pay.
  • If you knew your rent was unaffordable when you moved in.
  • If you left your home before you absolutely had to, even if you were leaving when the landlord requested.


“You can be made intentionally homeless if you leave your house when your landlord gives you notice.”


I think I could become “intentionally homeless” soon, what should I do?

If you think you are at a risk of becoming intentionally homeless in the next 30 days, or have been asked to leave your home, then you must contact the council. They can advise you on the next steps, and tell you how to avoid being declared intentionally homeless. Shelter also has expert housing advisers, who may discuss whether or not the situation could go up for review.


“Contact the council before leaving your home.”


What help are you eligible for if you are intentionally homeless?

Being ‘intentionally homeless’ means not being eligible for long term accommodation or assistance from the council – the most they will provide is advice. You are eligible for temporary accommodation (usually up to 28 days) if intentionally homeless and in ‘priority need’, meaning you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You or someone you live with is pregnant.
  • You are responsible for dependent children.
  • You are aged 16 or 17.
  • You are aged 18-20 and spent even a day in the care of social services at the age of 16 and 17.
  • You are considered ‘vulnerable’* by the council.


“You are still eligible for temporary accommodation if you are intentionally homeless but in ‘priority need’.”


I have been told I am ‘intentionally homeless’ and not a priority need. What are my options?

Being ‘intentionally homeless’ doesn’t mean there is no help available, it just means the available council help is limited. There are other organisations who can provide temporary emergency accommodation and advise you regarding the next steps you should take. Both organisations available nationwide like Crisis and Shelter, and those specific to Bradford such as Horton Housing and Inn Churches, are all still options and can offer help and advice to anyone in need.


“Even if you are ‘intentionally homeless’ there are still organisations who can offer help and advice.”


Below are a series of links that provide further information on this topic, and advise in more depth on potential courses of action for those who have been, or are soon to be deemed ‘intentionally homeless’. 

Information about intentional homelessness:


Various informative documents about being homeless, including legal information:


How to work out if you’ll be classed ‘intentionally’ homeless:


Advice and rights for those who are homeless:


Options and advice for those who are homeless:


You are considered ‘vulnerable’ by the council if you are of old age, have a physical and mental illness or disability, have spent time in the care of social services, in the armed forces, or in a prison or detention centre in the past, or have been a victim of violence and abuse in your own home.

Featured image source – http://bigkid255.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/intentionally-homeless.html