Permanent housing for Gypsy and Traveller people

Some Gypsy and Traveller communities live in permanent, settled housing. This may be through choice, or it may be a last resort option, due to age, ill health or lack of seasonal employment or suitable 'on the road' accommodation, or to escape discrimination and harassment. This page looks at what you can do to access permanent housing.

Can I apply for housing from the council?

Anyone over 16 can apply for council housing anywhere in Scotland. To apply, you need to fill in an application form, which you can get from the council housing department. You can find contact details and more details on the application process in your area on your council's website.

When you make your application, ask if there is a common housing register for your area. This is a joint waiting list for housing from the council and also from other registered social landlords (housing associations and housing cooperatives) in your area. Joining a common housing register has two advantages:

  • It saves you time and trouble, as you won't have to make separate applications to the council and to all the individual housing associations and co-ops in your area.

  • It increases your chances of getting accommodation.

Housing waiting lists don't work on a 'first come, first served' basis. Instead, the council or registered social landlord (RSL) will assess how much you need a new home, and prioritise applicants according to their need.

Find out more about applying for council housing.

Waiting lists can be very long, so you may have to wait some time before you're offered a home.

If you find it hard to adjust to living in settled housing, the council should offer you help and support. Speak to the housing department if you are concerned about this.

What about private rented accommodation?

Private rented accommodation is generally more readily available than council housing, so you should be able to find a place fairly quickly. However, rents will be higher, and you'll also need to pay rent in advance and a deposit before you can move in.

You may find that some landlords are prejudiced against Gypsy and Traveller communities, and may be reluctant to let property to you. This is discrimination, and you can take action against it - read the page on discrimination and harassment to find out more.

What if I have special requirements?

If you have special needs, for example, if you are elderly or disabled or have health problems, you may consider moving into supported accommodation.

Find out more about supported accommodation.

What other options are open to me?

You may also consider:

What if I experience harassment?

Some Gypsy and Traveller people who move into settled housing find they experience harassment such as verbal abuse, vandalism to their property or even physical violence when members of the settled community find out about their backgrounds. The page on discrimination and harassment explains what you can do if you find yourself in this position.

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help. Get Help

Last updated: 29 December 2014

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England