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Your housing rights in the cost of living crisis

Get help with housing costs

Check the Scottish Government's Cost of Living site to find money help based on your circumstances.

Help to pay rent

Use the Turn2Us benefits calculator to check if you can get any benefits. Even if you're in work, you could be entitled to claim.

Getting benefits can also give you access to other grants and support schemes.

If you're not from the UK, check your rights around benefits on Citizens Advice.

If you get benefits but they do not cover your full rent, and you cannot afford to pay the difference, apply for Discretionary Housing Payment from the council.

If you're in rent arrears, talk to your landlord as soon as possible and ask to make a repayment plan.

Check our guidance on dealing with rent arrears.

Help to pay energy bills

If you cannot afford your gas and electricity bills this winter, there are schemes and grants that could help.

Contact your energy supplier

Most suppliers have grants and hardship funds. Ask them how to apply.

You could get extra support if you or someone you live with is vulnerable. For example, if you’re disabled, pension age, or have young children. Tell your supplier about your circumstances.

If you get benefits or the State Pension

Check the government's website to see if you could be eligible for one of these schemes:

Help from the council

The council could agree to give you:

  • fuel vouchers if you’re on a prepayment meter

  • Discretionary Housing Payment to help pay bills

There may also be local schemes in your area.

Find your council’s website on to check how to apply.

Help with other costs

Cost of living payments

If you get certain benefits, you'll automatically get a cost of living payment.

Check if you can get a cost of living payment and when it will be paid on

Food banks

You can find a food bank in your area on the Trussell Trust website. Ask the food bank to tell you where you can get a referral voucher locally.

You can also find an independent food bank on the Independent Food Aid Network website.


Grants are usually one-off payments. You do not have to pay them back.

If you need money in an emergency, apply for a crisis grant from the council.

Use the Turn2Us grant search to find charity grants in your area.

Get money and debt advice

You can get free advice on managing or reducing your debt. A debt adviser can help you:

  • get benefits and grants

  • lower your costs and make a budget

  • negotiate with creditors and manage your repayments

These charities give advice either online, over the phone, or in person:

If you prefer you can also find a local debt advice service with one of these tools:

Be wary of debt solutions advertised by companies online. You may end up paying more than you need to. Get advice from an approved money adviser at a registered charity.

Last updated: 30 March 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England