Housing Options Guide 6

Section 6. Homelessness

Having somewhere to live is a basic human right and we want to make sure that everyone has a safe and warm home to live in.  The Scottish Government's aim is to prevent homelessness in Scotland and reduce the need for temporary accommodation.  

We have a legal duty to help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  

We do this by:

  • Interviewing homeless applicants and assessing their housing situation
  • Providing information and advice on homelessness, and the prevention of homelessness
  • Offering temporary or permanent accommodation to homeless households if this is needed

Homelessness Legislation

Homelessness legislation has evolved over the past few years and many changes have been made.  

Some of these changes introduced:

  • The right to a review of a homelessness decision.
  • A duty on registered social landlords to help local authorities rehouse homeless people.
  • A duty on local authorities to anyone who finds themselves homeless, through no fault of their own, that they will be provided with settled accommodation.
  • A duty on local authorities to assess the housing support needs of homeless applicants.
  • An extension to the Unsuitable Accommodation Order, which means that local authorities cannot place homeless households into bed and breakfast accommodation for more than seven days.
  • Discretionary powers, as a local authority thinks fit, to investigate if an applicant is intentionally homeless.  A person's individual circumstances will be considered holistically prior to making a decision to use the discretionary power.
  • Discretionary powers, as a local authority thinks fit, to make a referral to another local authority outwith Scotland for accommodation.  A person's individual circumstances will be considered holistically prior to making a decision to use the discretionary power.  These powers can only be carried out if:
    • the applicant has been assessed as unintentionally homeless or threatened with homelessness;
    • there are reasons to suggest the applicant does not have a local connection with Moray, and they, or someone who can reasonably be expected to reside with them, has a local connection with another local authority outwith Scotland, and there is no risk of domestic abuse in the other local authority area; and
    • the local authority which either the applicant, or someone who can reasonably be expected to reside with them has a connection with, is out of Scotland.

Housing Options Team

We will do everything we can to try and prevent homelessness in Moray.  Our specialist Housing Options Team can talk to you about your specific housing situation and help you find a solution that is right for you and your household.

There are many reasons you may want to contact our Housing Options Team such as:

  • You are homeless or at risk of homelessness within the next two months
  • You have received notice from your landlord, or they have asked you to leave your home
  • Family or friends that you were staying with have asked you to leave their home
  • You are not managing to keep up with your mortgage payments, or your home is being repossessed
  • You are struggling to keep up with your rent payments or are being evicted
  • You are being asked to leave your current home due to disputes or difficulties within the household
  • You, and any partner you may be living with, are having relationship difficulties
  • You are experiencing any type of domestic abuse or harassment
  • You are in hospital and will not be able to return home when you are discharged
  • You are leaving prison but do not have accommodation to return to
  • You are experiencing other issues such as overcrowding, serious property disrepair, or a housing emergency such as a flood or fire

The Housing Options Team can give you free advice and information on housing options that are available to you. They can also help you find more specialised advice on a wide range of issues.  

There are many ways they can help you such as:

  • Looking at various housing options to suit your specific circumstances
  • Providing free information and advice on realistic housing solutions
  • Discussing your housing rights
  • Giving you details about other housing providers
  • Discussing housing support services, money advice or debt management information that may help you
  • Supporting you through mediation with friends or family
  • Signposting you to specialist help with issues such as addictions, domestic abuse or harassment

The Housing Options Team may refer you on to our Homeless Team for further assessment of your situation if this is required.  

You should contact the team as soon as possible if you need help.  The earlier you get in touch, the more chance of a successful outcome for you.  The team will not judge you and will help you, whilst showing respect and understanding for your situation.  

Contact details:

Phone:  0300 1234 566 (Monday to Friday 8.45am - 5pm)

Emergency Out of Hours:  03457 565656

Email:  Housing.Options@moray.gov.uk

Use the following links for more information on:

6a. The Homeless Team

6b. Temporary accommodation

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