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This edition of FEANTSA's European Observatory on Homelessness Comparative Research Series looks at the impact on homelessness of the requirement that a person who is seeking assistance must have a ‘local connection’ to the area where s/he is seeking help. In most EU Member States public authorities, in one way or another, oblige homeless people to prove they have a connection to the city or municipality in order to access services. Even in countries where there is no formal local connection requirement, there is often ample space for local authorities and/or services to impose such an obligation, unofficially.

This research shows that where ‘local connection’ rules are poorly designed or not properly implemented the first victims are the most vulnerable people, and people who are homeless can find themselves denied essential help.