When seeking new or alternative housing they will re-house you, your spouse/partner and dependent children up to 16 years old. Please be aware that if you have adult children still living with you, or you are a young person (over 17- 18) still living with your parents, the housing team do not have to re-house you all together. They only have a responsibility to re-house you and your child dependants. They will expect older children to find their own housing, or expect your parents to stay in the parental home. Some authorities are better than others at agreeing to try to keep the adult family members together but they are not obliged to do so.

Once they have established who they will house with you they will then work out how many rooms you may be entitled to.  They have a formula for working this out.

Over the last few years there have been many changes, one of which is to have brought in the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) This sets the level of rent that you can claim via housing benefit anywhere in your area. It sets out the maximum rent allowable based on the number of bedrooms in your home.

Another change has been the cap on the number of bedrooms you can claim housing benefit for depending on the number of people living in your home.

You are allowed one bedroom for:
• every adult couple (married or unmarried),
• any other adult aged 16 or over,
• up to two children under age 10,
• up to two children of the same sex aged 16 or under.
• a carer where it is essential for a live in care to be present.

As you can see, this makes no provision for a couple who need to sleep in separate rooms on medical grounds. These issues will need to be raised directly with the housing departments as exceptions.

Once the local authority agrees to help you they will send you a letter to inform you of where you are on the waiting list, sometimes called housing register, housing list or priority list.  This will be based on your current housing need:

Are you homeless? Living in a house that is not fully accessible to you? Overcrowded?
Then they will look at the other physical needs you have and those of family members that will be living with you.