Housing Options Guide-6

Homelessness or being at risk of homelessness is the most extreme and complex form of housing need with many causes.  It is not a lifestyle choice that people make and can happen to anyone.  This section tells you about:

Homelessness 

We will do everything we can to try and prevent homelessness wherever possible.

Our specialist team can look at your situation and circumstances, to help find a solution that is right for you and your household if:

  • You are homeless or at risk of homelessness;
  • You have received notice or your landlord has asked you to leave your home;
  • Your family/friends have asked you to leave;
  • You are not keeping 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 due to disputes, difficulties or circumstances within the household;
  • You and your partner are having relationship difficulties;
  • You are experiencing any type of domestic abuse;
  • 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; or
  • You are experiencing other issues such as harassment, overcrowding, serious property conditions or have a housing emergency (flood/fire).

Our legal duties to homeless households

We have a legal duty to help homeless people - firstly by interviewing them and assessing their housing situation and, secondly, by offering them temporary and/or permanent accommodation - as long as their circumstances warrant it.  

This is in line with the criteria laid down in Part II of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 as amended by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 and the Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003

The three main test used to assess homelessness are:

1.    Are you homeless?

This means you, and anyone who would reasonably be expected to live with you, falls within at least one of the following categories:

  • You have no accommodation in the UK or elsewhere which they are entitled or permitted to occupy;
  • Will be homeless within two months;
  • It is unreasonable to expect you to go on living in your present home for whatever reason; or
  • Live in a caravan or boat and they have nowhere to pitch or moor it.

2.    Are you intentionally homeless?

We must satisfy ourselves that you did not deliberately do something or fail to do something which lead to your homelessness (for example, refusing to pay rent for no reason)

3.    Do you have a local connection to the area?

As a general rule you must have a local connection with the Moray area.  Exceptions can be made in special circumstances (for example, if you are fleeing domestic violence or have no local connection with anywhere in the United Kingdom)

Your Homeless Officer will fully explain the homeless assessment process.  We aim to reach a final decision on your application within 28 days.  This gives us enough time to make the necessary enquiries to check your homeless circumstances property.  You will be kept regularly informed on the progress of your application.

If you have been assessed as homeless, temporary accommodation will be provided.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your application, you have 21 days from receipt of the decision letter to request a review of the decision.  This will be fully explained within the homeless decision letter.

If you want us to review our decision, you should write us explaining, in as much detail as possible, why you think our decision is wrong.

The letter should be addressed to:

Housing Operations Manager
The Moray Council
PO Box 6760
Elgin
IV30 9BX

A senior officer who was not involved in the original decision will complete this review.  If you want to discuss the review with the senior officer in person, please state this within your letter.
You have the right to be accompanied by a friend or adviser at the meeting.

More information can be found by clicking the following link: Housing Options and Homelessness.(web)

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