Help if you are homeless

If you're homeless it is our legal responsibility to help you. We have a legal duty to give advice and information about homelessness, how to prevent it and any need to provide temporary accommodation.

If you are in an emergency situation and have nowhere to stay phone 01467 530577 (Option 1), between 9am to 5pm. Outside office hours phone 03456 081206. If you think you'll become homeless in the near future contact us straight away for advice. Please don't wait until you don't have anywhere to stay as we may be able to prevent you becoming homeless.

You don't have to be sleeping on the street to be homeless. You might have a roof over your head and still be homeless. Legislation says that you are homeless if you:

  • have no accommodation you are legally entitled to occupy
  • can't reasonably live in your accommodation
  • can't gain entry to your accommodation - for example your landlord has changed the locks
  • face or are at risk of violence or harassment - for example from a partner, ex partner or neighbours
  • can't reasonably stay there because of overcrowding which is affecting your health
  • can't reasonably stay there because of a poor standard
  • don't have permission to stay there or family or friends you have been staying with have asked you to leave
  • live in a place like a houseboat or caravan, and there is nowhere for you to place it and live in it
  • may be threatened with homelessness, if you are going to lose your accommodation within two months

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What you can expect from us

Here is what you can expect from us:

  • We will listen carefully to everything you tell us, treating your concerns with understanding
  • We will be sensitive about any personal information you tell us
  • We will not discriminate against you because of your:
    Gender reassignment
    Marriage and civil partnership
    Pregnancy and maternity
    Religion or belief
    Sexual orientation
  • We will treat you with consideration and respect the confidentiality of your situation
  • We will check regularly that we keep our promises and will check regularly that the terms in our service standards are being carried out

View our homelessness service standards leaflet (PDF 156KB) for more information.

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Homelessness assessment

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless we will assess your situation. We will offer you an interview as soon as possible, usually within 3 working days. If you are roofless or have no accommodation available to you, you will be interviewed the same day.

Your Housing Officer will tell you about the homelessness assessment process. The assessment is so we can determine what assistance you are legally entitled to. We will gather information to assess if you are:

  • homeless or about to become homeless
  • intentionally homeless

Please note we can't refer you to another Scottish local authority for accommodation. We can refer you to local authorities in England and Wales.

What happens after

We aim to reach a final decision on each application within 28 days. This gives us enough time to make the necessary enquiries to check your homeless circumstances properly. We will keep you regularly informed on the progress of your application.

If you have been assessed as homeless, we will provide suitable temporary accommodation for you and assist you with transport if you have no means to get to it. View our temporary accommodation leaflet (PDF 174KB) for more information.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your application, you have the right to request a review. The review process is explained within your homelessness decision letter.

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Independent advice

If you are facing a homeless situation, you can get independent legal advice:

  • Shelter Scotland can give you confidential advice, information and advocacy if you have housing problems
  • Citizen's Advice Bureau can give you advice on handling problems with your landlord and help to avoid losing your home

Other advice

  • LGBT Youth Scotland is Scotland’s national charity for LGBTI young people, working with 13 to 25-year-olds across the country
  • Four Pillars supports the LGBT+ community in manners of mental, emotional, physical and sexual health and offers information and support on a person to person basis
  • Grampian Women's Aid supports women, children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse
  • Fear Free supports people who are experiencing domestic abuse in Scotland who identify themselves as a man or from the LGBT+ community

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