Definition: Homeless person

Regional statistics

A homeless person is someone who does not have access to accommodation which he/she can reasonably occupy, whether this accommodation is legally their own property or whether the property is rented; provided by institutions; provided by employers; or occupied rent-free under some contractual or other arrangement.

In consequence homeless persons are obliged to sleep either:

(a) outdoors;
(b) in buildings which do not meet commonly agreed criteria for human habitation (e.g. privacy; hygiene; space);
(c) in night-time emergency hostel accommodation provided by public sector or charitable organisations;
(d) in longer-stay hostels provided by public sector or charitable organisations (e.g. non-emergency centres, refuges for battered women, deportation centres for asylum seekers and illegal immigrants);
(e) in Bed & Breakfast accommodation;
(f) in other short-stay accommodation (duration less than 1 month);
(g) in the homes of friends or relatives;
(h) in registered squats;

Persons living in the following sorts of accommodation
are excluded:

- hospital wards; mental homes; old-age centres
- prisons; prison cells; borstals
- college halls of residence; boarding schools
- orphanages; foster homes
- military barracks; seamen’s missions
- ships at mooring;
- mobile homes (e.g. circuses; Roma)
- au-pairs; domestic servants; live-in hotel staff
- tourists living in hotel rooms
- supported accommodation (low income)
Eurostat, "Urban Audit - Methodological Handbook (2004 Edition)", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2004

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