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Help from the council

If you are homeless, you can ask your local council for help.

What help can I get from the council?

The help you can get depends on your personal circumstances:

  • Advice and assistance - If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • Temporary accommodation - If you have nowhere to stay while the council is looking your personal circumstances, you should be given somewhere to stay temporarily.
  • Permanent housing - If you have to leave your home or you are already homeless you may also be entitled to permanent housing.

Applying as homeless

The council must help you if you're homeless or will be in the next 2 months.

You make a homeless application by going to your local council and say that you are there to make a homeless application. The council will then need to check out the details of how you have become homeless and your personal circumstances.

You will be asked to fill in a homelessness application form and then you will have an interview with a homelessness officer.

If you have no where to stay then the council should offer you temporary accommodation.


Who can make a homelessness application?

Only one person has to make their application on behalf of the whole household. Your household consists of:

  • Anyone who currently lives with you, and
  • Anyone who could be expected to live with you if you had accommmodation where you could all live together.

The homelessness interview

At the interview have the right to:

  • Be interviewed in a private room where you won't be overheard
  • Choose to be interviewed by a man or woman
  • Take a friend or an adviser with you
  • Have an interpreter if English is not your first language
  • Have a sign langauge interpreter if you have a hearing impairment

You will then be asked some questions about your situation and how you became homeless. These will include questions about:

  • How many people there are in your household
  • Where you have been living
  • Why you had to leave your accommodation and if you will be able to return there
  • Any health problems in your household
  • Any problems you have had with domestic abuse or other forms of harassment
  • Your financial circumstances

There are several 'tests' you will need to pass before you will be eligible for a permanent home. The section on making a homeless application explains what these are.


What happens after the interview?

If you have nowhere to stay, you should be offered temporary accommodation whilst the council looks into your situation. Also, the council should also arrange to store your personal belongings if you're not able to do this yourself.

You can get advice and help from Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444.

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