This content applies to Scotland only.
Housing laws vary between Scotland and England. Get advice relating to England
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.
The rules that govern homelessness legislation changed at the end of 2012. The major change was the ending of the priority need test, this means that if you are assessed as unintentionally homeless you have the right to a home. These pages have been updated to reflect these changes.
Homeless? Nowhere to sleep? Get help to find somewhere to stay, and your emergency accommodation options. You might also want to call the free Shelter housing helpline on 0808 800 4444.
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.
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 to help you avoid problems.
If you are homeless you may have rights to help from the council's housing and social work departments. You will not lose your rights to claim benefits, access medical help, or vote if you are homeless.
If you don't have a home, cannot stay where you are, or are worried that you will have to move out soon, you need to go to the council's housing department to make a homeless application.
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.
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.