Help from the council's housing department

Nowhere to stay, sleeping on a friend's sofa, got a notice to quit? You may be able to get help from the council. This section has details about help the council can give you if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

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

  • How can the council help?

    Find out what kind of help can the council can offer you if you ask them for help because you are homeless or think you are about to become homeless.

  • Contacting the council

    If you have nowhere to stay or are worried about having to leave your home you can ask the council for help by making a homeless application. Contact the council to make an application.

  • Who can apply?

    The council has to accept an application for help from anyone who appears to be homeless or is likely to become homeless within two months. However, some people are not eligible for help.

  • Making an application

    What happens when you go the council to make a homelessness application. You will need to fill in a form and have an interview with a homelessness officer.

  • After applying

    After your interview with a homelessness officer, you should be offered accommodation while the council makes inquiries.They may need to store your property as well.

  • Homelessness tests

    A council must make inquiries into your situation. This will determine what kind of help the council can give you. This section gives explains the inquiry process.

  • The council's decision

    Once the council has decided about your homelessness application, it must send you a letter explaining the reasons and what happens next. You may be able to challenge their decision.

  • Advice and assistance

    If you make a homeless application and are eligible for help you'll be entitled to advice and assistance from the council. Find out what type of advice and assistance you can expect to receive.

  • Temporary accommodation

    On making a homeless application to the council, you'll be provided with somewhere to stay while the council carries out its inquiries.

  • Permanent accommodation

    If you pass the council's homelessness tests, you'll be offered a permanent home. Find out what this means and what to do if you're not happy with the offer.

  • Other options

    If you are homeless and the council has said that it can't help, you may have other options. Find out what help you can get.

  • Challenging the council

    If you disagree with a decision the council has made on your homeless application, it may be possible to challenge the decision and get it overturned.

  • Applying if you're disabled

    Check if specific issues affecting disabled people who are homeless affect you. Find out what happens when you go the council and what you can do if the council won't help you.

  • Homelessness and children

    Find out what help you can get if you are homeless and have children.

  • EU Nationals

    Find out when you can expect to receive help if you become homeless and are from outside the UK but within the European Union.

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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