Homelessness

You don't have to be living on the street to be homeless. You may be sleeping on a friend's sofa, staying in a hostel, or living in overcrowded or unsuitable accommodation.

This section explains what homelessness is and how it can be avoided, how you can get help from the council and where to get help if you're sleeping rough.

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

In an emergency

Homeless? Nowhere to sleep tonight? This section explains how you can get help to find somewhere to stay.

I'm being made homeless, what can I do?

Accessing the help and advice on these pages can change your situation hugely and can prevent you becoming homeless. Speaking to an adviser often gives you the best solution.

What is the definition of homelessness?

You don't have to be sleeping rough to be defined as homeless. You are homeless if you don't have any rights to stay where you live or your home is unsuitable for you. Get advice early.

Homeless people's rights

If you are homeless you may have rights to help from the council's housing and social work departments. You may still claim benefits, access medical help, or vote.

Help from the council if you're homeless

If you don't have a home, cannot stay where you are, or are worried that you will have to move out, you need to go to the council to make a homeless application.

Sleeping on the streets and being homeless

What services are available to you, including day centres, outreach work and nightshelters. Get practical advice about safety on the streets if you are homeless, medical care and claiming benefits.

Last updated: 13 October 2020

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England

Homeless help tool

Are you homeless or at risk of becoming homeless?

Use our tool to find out how to apply for help from your local council

Start help tool