Homelessness

Tool - does the council have to house you?

Your council has duties to help you if you're homeless or about to become homeless. Answer a few questions about your situation and find out what support you might be entitled to.

You don't have to be living on the street to be homeless. You may be sleeping on a friend's sofa, staying in a hostel, or living in overcrowded or unsuitable accommodation.

This section explains what homelessness is and how it can be avoided, how you can get help from the council and where to get help if you're sleeping rough.

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England
This content applies to Scotland only
Get advice if you're in England

  • In an emergency

    Homeless? Nowhere to sleep tonight? This section explains how you can get help to find somewhere to stay.

  • Help and advice

    Accessing the help and advice on these pages can change your situation hugely and can prevent you becoming homeless.Speaking to an adviser often gives you the best solution.

  • What is homelessness?

    You don't have to be sleeping rough to be homeless. You are homeless if you don't have any rights to stay where you live or your home is unsuitable for you.Get advice early.

  • Homeless people's rights

    If you are homeless you may have rights to help from the council's housing and social work departments. You may still claim benefits, access medical help, or vote.

  • Help from the council

    If you don't have a home, cannot stay where you are, or are worried that you will have to move out, you need to go to the council to make a homeless application.

  • Sleeping on the streets

    What services are available to you, including day centres, outreach work and nightshelters. Get practical advice about safety on the streets, medical care and claiming benefits.

  • Does the council have to house me?

    If you don't have anywhere to live, your local council may have a duty to house you. Use our online tool to find out if you're entitled to help and housing from your council.

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

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