Homelessness

This guide contains information on what to do if you are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless.

Homeless or at risk of homelessness

If you are homeless, or expect that you will become homeless, call Stirling Council on 01786 404040.

If you have nowhere to stay, we’ll provide emergency accommodation at once and a homeless interview the same day, or the next working day if it’s after office hours. Temporary emergency accommodation will usually be a bed and breakfast or similar.

If you have somewhere to stay temporarily, we will offer you a homeless interview within three working days.

Homelessness assessment

The assessment process

There are three stages to the process:

  1. we will need to establish whether you are homeless, or threatened with homelessness within the next two months
  2. we will check to make sure that you did not become homeless through your own actions
  3. we will check that you have a connection to the Stirling area

If you do not have a connection to Stirling, we may refer you to another council where you do have a connection.

To be considered homeless, your circumstances must meet these conditions. You:

  • have no accommodation that you are legally entitled to occupy
  • cannot reasonably live in your accommodation
  • cannot gain entry to your accommodation
  • face violence or harassment
  • do not have permission to stay in a home, or family or friends you have been staying with have asked you to leave
  • live in a place like a houseboat or a caravan, and there is nowhere for you to place it and live in it
  • are going to lose your accommodation within two months

We can tell you more about the assessment process when you contact us. We aim to make a decision within 28 days and will write to you to let you know the outcome.

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It is a serious offence to withhold or provide false information in connection with a homeless application. Anyone committing such an offence may be prosecuted and fined.

Temporary accommodation

We will normally offer you temporary accommodation while your case is investigated. Pregnant women and households with children will be offered bed and breakfast accommodation as a last resort, and for as short a period as possible.

You will have to pay for temporary accommodation. We can help you make a Housing Benefit claim if you already receive welfare benefits or may be entitled to them.

If you’re offered temporary accommodation, you’ll be responsible for the costs of storing your household belongings.

Permanent accommodation

If the assessment confirms you are homeless, Stirling Council will provide you with permanent accommodation.

This is not a quick process – it can take months or even years. In the meantime, we will continue to offer temporary accommodation until you are rehoused.

We will also advise you to apply for a council house at the same time as applying as homeless.

Support in temporary accommodation

Temporary accommodation is a place where people and families can go if they become homeless. It is a safe place where we will support you and help you decide what to do next.

Supporting you

We provide a voluntary support service to help you with practical advice and information. Our staff will work with you to help you feel in control of your own life and your own decisions.

We know that you may feel frightened sometimes. But our experience shows you can grow to feel happy and have things to look forward to that you have decided for yourself.

If we can't answer all your questions or provide you with all the help and support you need, we will refer you to an appropriate agency that will be able to help.

Supporting your children

It’s only natural to be concerned about taking your children away from their home to somewhere they don't know. Our workers help children to cope with the ups and downs of their experience. Staff will also work with you to sort out your child's schooling, including school transport arrangements, access to a GP and other healthcare services.

Housing First/Rapid Rehousing

Stirling Housing First is part of a Scotland-wide programme. It supports the Scottish government’s aim to eliminate rough sleeping by supporting people whose homelessness is made harder by experiences such as trauma, addiction and mental health problems.

It provides mainstream social housing and 24-hour support to individuals who are homeless, aged 18 or over.

Benefits and support

The service places homeless people directly into independent tenancies in Stirling with no need to progress through temporary housing. By having a permanent tenancy in Stirling, they are in a better position to access community support, health care and social benefits.

The support offered includes advice on tenancy management, budgeting, personal safety, cooking and food shopping. Support workers who have had similar personal experiences will also work with residents to encourage trust, friendship and engagement with local recovery services.

Read Stirling Council’s Rapid Rehousing Plan

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