Who qualifies for emergency accommodation

Not everybody who is homeless will qualify for emergency accommodation. If we have reason to believe that you’re eligible for help, you’re homeless, and in priority need, we have a duty to provide you with accommodation until we decide on your homeless application. Typically, this will be emergency short-term accommodation provided on a night-by-night basis.

Location of the emergency accommodation

We’ll try to find you emergency accommodation in the local area, but cannot guarantee this, as we can only place people in properties where there are vacancies.

Working with you while you are in emergency accommodation

While you are in emergency accommodation, we will work with you under the Prevention or Relief Duty to help you regain access to your current home or find a new home through Homefinder Somerset, a private let, or supported accommodation.

Cancelling your emergency accommodation

If we need to cancel your accommodation, we will speak to you about this first. We may cancel your accommodation if you:

  • are in breach of the house rules of that accommodation. This also applies to members of your household and any guest that you have visiting you
  • do not take reasonable care of the accommodation
  • refuse other offers of suitable emergency, temporary or long-term accommodation made to you
  • are no longer owed an accommodation duty by us
  • do not pay the charges or rent you are requested to
  • do not stay in the accommodation provided

Temporary accommodation

If you are still homeless after the relief duty comes to an end, we will make a decision on your homelessness application. If we decide that you are eligible for assistance, homeless, in priority need, not intentionally homeless and have a local connection to Somerset, you will be entitled to longer-term temporary accommodation until you are able to secure a more permanent home. You will not be entitled to longer-term temporary accommodation if we decide that you are any of the following:

  • not eligible
  • not homeless
  • not in priority need
  • intentionally homeless

If you have no local connection to Somerset, we will make enquiries with the local authority where you do have a local connection. If those enquiries satisfy us that you would not be at risk of violence in that area, we will make a referral to that local authority, and they will be required to continue with your homelessness application. This may mean that you will no longer have an entitlement to emergency or temporary accommodation from us.

Costs of emergency or temporary accommodation

Depending on the type of accommodation, you will be expected to pay a charge (for example rent and service charges). This will be made clear to you by your case officer before you move into the accommodation. You may be eligible for Housing Benefit to help meet some of the costs of the accommodation.


Most of our emergency and temporary accommodation do not allow pets, so we will help you to explore options for temporary rehousing for them through friends, family or professional services. Your case officer will be happy to explore these options and others with you.

Last reviewed: November 20, 2023 by Daniel

Next review due: May 20, 2024

Back to top