Getting permanent accommodation when you’re homeless

If you meet all the council's homelessness criteria, they should offer you a permanent home.

Find out how the offer will be made, what type of tenancy you might be offered, and what you can do if you're not happy with the offer.

Who is entitled to permanent accommodation

You will be offered permanent accommodation if the council has decided that:

If you made a homeless application on or after 29 November 2022, the council cannot refer you to another Scottish council even if you have no local connection.

If they try to refer you to a different council, including one in England or Wales, get advice from a Shelter Scotland adviser.

Permanent accommodation must:

  • not be overcrowded

  • not be a danger to your health

  • meet any health or disability needs you or your household have

  • be reasonable for you to live in, for example, it should not be in an area where you are at risk of violence

The council should also make sure that you have reasonable access to:

  • your friends and family

  • your place of work

  • your children's schools

  • suitable healthcare services

  • support services to help you maintain your tenancy, for example, counselling services to help you tackle any problems you may have

The offer

Most councils will only make one offer of suitable permanent accommodation.

When the council makes you an offer of permanent accommodation, they should tell you if it's the last offer they’ll make. If you are not given this information when the offer is made, then it should not count as a final offer.

The council must make their offer of permanent accommodation in writing. The letter must tell you that:

  • you have the right to ask the council to review the offer if you think it's unsuitable

  • if you refuse the final offer, the council will not have to help you anymore and you will have to move out of your temporary accommodation

Get advice from Shelter Scotland before turning down an offer of a permanent home.

Find out more about reviewing an offer

Accepting an offer

If you accept the permanent accommodation you're offered, the council will tell you when you can move in.

After that date, the council will no longer have a responsibility to provide temporary accommodation.

Council and housing association tenancy types

Scottish secure tenancies

If you are offered a permanent tenancy with the council or a housing association, you will normally have a Scottish secure tenancy.

Scottish secure tenants have many rights and can normally stay in their homes indefinitely, provided they keep to the conditions of their tenancy agreement.

Find out about Scottish secure tenancies

Short Scottish secure tenancies

You might be offered a short Scottish secure tenancy with fewer rights if:

  • you or someone in your household has been evicted for antisocial behaviour in the last three years, or

  • you are subject to an antisocial behaviour order when the offer of permanent accommodation is made, or

  • you need support in your tenancy

Find out about short Scottish secure tenancies

Other types of permanent accommodation

Private residential tenancies

The council can also arrange a private residential tenancy with a private landlord, but this would need to be suitable and affordable.

Find out about private residential tenancies

Supported accommodation

In some circumstances, the council may offer you supported accommodation. This may be accommodation with support for:

  • young people

  • disabled people

  • people with drug or alcohol dependencies

Finding your own permanent home

If you secure your own accommodation, the council will no longer have a responsibility to help you and you will have to give up your temporary accommodation.

If the council does not have to offer permanent accommodation

Sometimes the level of support needed by you or someone in your household means that the council are not able to make an offer of permanent accommodation. This is decided by a housing support services assessment.

Short-term accommodation

Depending on your situation, the council might offer you short-term accommodation (sometimes called transitional accommodation).

If you are given short-term accommodation, the council must also provide you with:

  • all of the housing support needs you require

  • access to independent advice and information that relates to your support plan

  • an agreed timescale for the length of your short-term accommodation and support plan

  • a date where your short-term accommodation and support plan can be reviewed

  • permanent accommodation when the housing support service assessment agrees it's suitable

  • a way for your short-term accommodation and support plan to be monitored

Last updated: 6 January 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

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