Homelessness

What happens if I am homeless

Exactly what we can do for you is set out by law. For example if you are homeless and haven’t done anything to cause this situation then we will normally give you temporary housing until we can house you permanently.   

We will consider the reasons why you became homeless when we assess your situation.

If we think that you have made yourself homeless because of something you have or have not done, we may say that you have made yourself homeless "intentionally". This means that even if you are homeless we do not have a legal duty to find you another home. However, we will give you advice, information and assistance to help you find housing. We will also normally give you temporary housing for a limited period of time. This is to give you time to find alternative housing yourself.

Intentionally homeless 

We consider each case separately and on its merits, but here are some of the circumstances in which we may decide that you have made yourself homeless deliberately:

  • If you have been evicted for not paying your rent or mortgage even though you could afford to do so.  This is why it is very important that you take up offers of money or benefit advice
  • If you choose to sell your home when there was no risk of losing it
  • If you voluntarily gave up suitable accommodation either here or abroad
  • If you were evicted for antisocial behaviour, for example, harassment

If we decide that you are unintentionally homeless and have a local connection, we have a duty to assist you to secure settled accommodation.

If this applies to you, we do not have a legal duty to find you another home. We will still give you advice, information and assistance to help you find housing.

A local connection to the area

If we decide that you are homeless, and have not made yourself homeless intentionally, we then have to decide whether you have a local connection with the Highland area.

If you do not have a connection with the Highlands but have a connection to another council area please go into the appropriate office.

If you do not have a local connection with any council area in Britain, then we will help you.

You will have a local connection with the Highlands if any of the following apply to you or anyone who lives with you:

  • Have lived in Highland for at least the last six of the last twelve months or three out of the last five years.  This does not include stays in hospitals or prison in the Highlands.
  • Have a job in the Highlands
  • Have close relative you have a need to live near

If there are other special circumstances which means you need to live in the Highlands, we may decide that you have a local connection.

We will give your application additional housing need points and we will give you our decision in writing. When meeting with our homelessness officers, we will help you fill out an assessment form and ask you questions about things like your family and your health.

Please bring any letters or documents which relate to your housing difficulties, health or financial circumstances. The information will be kept confidential and you can bring a friend, relative or any other person if you want. We will give you a decision within 28 days. We will consider the reasons why you became homeless when we assess your situation.

If we make a decision that you disagree with, you must write to our housing policy officer within 21 calendar days of receiving the letter telling you about our decision.

The review will be carried out by the policy officer, who will give their decision in writing as quickly as possible.

If you disagree with the policy officer's review of the decision, you can ask for a further review. Again you must give a reason why you think the decision is wrong. If you want, you can go to this review yourself to explain why you think our decision is wrong. You can bring someone along to this meeting to help you. The panel will advise you of their decision in writing as soon as possible.

If you are still unhappy with the decision you can request a Judicial Review of your case. You have to ask your own solicitor to do this.

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