Making a homeless application with the council
To get help, contact any council’s homeless department.
They cannot refuse your application if you’re homeless or likely to become homeless in the next 2 months.
If you need somewhere temporary to stay, you should be given it straight away.
Only one person has to make the application on behalf of your entire household.
If you're refused help, contact Shelter Scotland.
The homelessness interview
After you make a homeless application, you will be interviewed by a homelessness officer.
If you have nowhere to stay, you should be interviewed on the day you make your application.
Interviews are usually held at the council offices. The homelessness officer might visit you at home if you cannot get to their offices.
You can ask for help if English is not your first language or if you have difficulty reading or writing.
What to take with you:
Take any of these documents that are relevant to you:
IDs for everyone in your household
benefit books and wage slips
bills with your name and address
child benefit book
proof of pregnancy
any notices that will end your current tenancy
court possession papers
a letter from the person who has asked you to leave
relevant crime numbers or copies of police reports
written discharge from the armed forces
bail conditions not to return
If you cannot get this information before your interview, the council should give you time to gather it.
You'll be asked about:
where you have been living
why you left or will have to leave
whether you can return there
whether you can stay somewhere short-term (such as with relatives)
your income and benefits
any problems you have had with violence, domestic abuse, or harassment
any health conditions you or anyone in your household has. This includes:
addictions or dependencies
The people in your household. This includes:
anyone who currently lives with you
anyone who would live with you if they could (such as extended family and children you treat as your own)
You have the right to:
be interviewed in private
choose to be interviewed by a man or woman
take a friend or an adviser with you
have an interpreter if English isn’t your first language
have a trained sign language interpreter if you require one
If you find the interview upsetting or overwhelming, the homelessness officer can postpone the interview.
Explain your situation fully so that any accommodation you’re given:
is not overcrowded
is suitable for your job
meets any health needs you may have
is close to health services, family, schools etc.
What happens next
if you have nowhere to stay, you should be offered temporary accommodation
the council should arrange to store your personal belongings if you cannot do this yourself
the council will assess if you're eligible for help
a decision letter is usually sent within 28 days of you making a homeless application
if you're eligible, you will be offered a permanent home when one becomes available
When to get help from Shelter Scotland
You should contact an adviser if you're:
told that you cannot get temporary accommodation
handed a list of hostels and told to find somewhere yourself
told that you cannot get help to store your belongings
Last updated: 6 January 2023