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Eden District Council
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Homelessness

The legal definition of homelessness

Broadly speaking, the law defines someone as being homeless if they do not have a legal right to occupy accommodation, or if their accommodation is unsuitable to live in. This can cover a wide range of circumstances, including, but not restricted to, the following:

  • having no accommodation at all
  • having accommodation that is not reasonable to live in, even in the short-term (for example because of violence or health reasons)
  • having a legal right to accommodation that you cannot access (for example if you have been evicted illegally)
  • living in accommodation you have no legal right to occupy (for example living in a squat or staying with friends temporarily).

Local councils have a legal duty to provide advice and assistance to people who are legally defined as homeless or threatened with homelessness. However, not everyone who falls within the legal definition necessarily qualifies for temporary accommodation.

Important note
We provide general information for anyone who may be threatened with homelessness. If you would like more details, please contact:

Eden Housing Association,
Blain House,
Bridge Lane,
Penrith,
Cumbria
CA11 8QU

Telephone: 01768 861400
Emergency out of hours service on 0800 3581401

Independent Advice

If you would like independent advice you may wish to contact:

Housing legal aid is available from:

Scott Duff & Co
40 King Street
Penrith
CA11 7AY

Telephone: 01768 865551

Homeless Person