Homelessness In Clackmannanshire
All people who use social landlord services are invited to join the Scottish Housing Regulator's National Panel. For more information you can
The Council's responsibilities for homeless people
Local authorities have a legal duty to help homeless people - firstly by interviewing them, and/or assessing their housing situation and secondly by offering them temporary or permanent accommodation - provided the circumstances warrant it, according to criteria laid down in Part II of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 amended by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.
Who should I contact?
You should contact the Homelessness Team on 01259 452397 or 0845 055 7070 (select option 2) if you
- have nowhere you can stay,
- have accommodation but you can't live in it,
- are going to become homeless within two months.
In an emergency situation, when the office is closed, you should contact
us on freephone 0800 027 6566(mobile network charges may apply).
The Homeless Team run a duty system to interview applicants presenting as homeless. You will be interviewed by a skilled and experienced Homelessness Casework Officer at Lime Tree House and your interview will be private and confidential.
A booklet explaining your rights and the Council's responsibilities is available in Council Offices.
- Assessing your situation
- How long will the assessment take?
- Your temporary housing
- Offer of permanent housing
- Right of appeal
- Homeless but not in priority need
Each individual case will be assessed on the following four criteria:
- You are homeless or will become homeless within the next two months.
You are deemed to be homeless or threatened with homelessness if you and anyone who would reasonably be expected to live with you
- have nowhere in the United Kingdom or elsewhere that you are entitled to live;
- have nowhere that you and your family can live together;
- have somewhere to live, but your are unable to stay there because of threats of violence, including racial or other harassment;
- have somewhere to live, but it is not reasonable because the accommodation does not meet the tolerable standard and is a threat to you and your family's health;
- live in a mobile home, caravan or boat, but have nowhere to put or moor it.
- You are in priority need
If you are homeless, then the council will need to find out if you have a 'priority need'. You are in priority need if either you or anyone who would reasonably be expected to live with you is
- a dependent child;
- homeless because of an emergency such as a flood, fire or other disaster;
- Vulnerable because of
- old age;
- mental illness;
- personality disorder;
- learning disability;
- physical disability;
- severe ill-health;
- suffering a miscarriage or undergoing an abortion.
- leaving hospital;
- leaving prison;
- leaving the regular armed forces;
- between 16 or 17 years of age;
- between 18 and 20 years of age who
- was formerly 'looked after' at school-leaving age, or
- runs the risk of sexual or financial exploitation or involvement in serious misuse of alcohol, drugs (whether controlled or not) or any volatile substance.
- because of religion, sexual orientation, race, colour, ethnic or national origins
- runs the risk of violence;
- likely to be the victim of a course of conduct amounting to harassment.
- at risk of domestic abuse from a partner or ex-partner.
Please note that the Council is phasing out the priority need criteria.
- You are not intentionally homeless
The Council must satisfy itself that you did not deliberately do something or fail to do something which resulted in homelessness, eg refusing to pay rent for no proper reason, or you are a teenager leaving the parental home without presenting a compelling reason why you could not return.
You may not be intentionally homeless if
- it was not reasonable for you to stay in your home;
- you lost your home because of rent arrears that built up because of circumstances beyond your control, eg you lost your job, had a wage cut, or did not receive all your benefits;
- your home care came with your job and you lost your job through no fault of your own;
- you lost your home because you did not know your rights, eg your landlord told you to leave and you did not know that this could not happen without a court order;
- someone else's action caused you to lose your home and you did not know, or agree with what they were doing and could not stop them, eg you thought the rent was being paid and it was not.
- You have a local connection to Clackmannanshire
You must have a local connection with the Clackmannanshire area. This may include that you
- normally live in Clackmannanshire;
- work in Clackmannanshire;
- have close family connections here.
However, special circumstances are assessed on a case by case basis. This includes people fleeing domestic abuse or someone who has no local connection with anywhere in the United Kingdom.
If you do not have a local connection, the Council has the power to refer you to another local authority in Scotland, England or Wales if you have a local connection with another authority.
From the date of your application, we aim to assess your situation within 28 days. This may sometimes take longer depending on the circumstances of your homelessness application. The Homelessness Casework Officer will keep you informed on the progress being made with the assessment of your application.
While we assess your case you have the right to temporary housing, if you need this.
The Council has a range of temporary accommodation throughout the Council area to meet the needs of people in different situations. If the Council has a duty to provide you with temporary accommodation you will be offered one of the following:
- Fully furnished property owned by the Council or a Housing Association
- Supported accommodation for young single people
- supported accommodation for women fleeing domestic abuse and those with additional support needs.
- Bed & Breakfast establishments.
Where possible your needs and preferences are taken into account when offering temporary accommodation. However, it may not be possible for you to choose where you stay or the type of accommodation due to the high level of demand on the Council's Homelessness Service.
If our assessment finds that you meet the above criteria and are homeless in terms of the law you will be awarded homelessness points to help you get an offer of permanent housing.
You will be provided with temporary accommodation until an offer of suitable permanent housing can be made. You should talk to your Homelessness Casework Officer or seek independent housing advice before you turn down an offer of permanent housing.
You should be aware that by giving you a reasonable offer of housing the Council will have met it's legal obligation to you. If you refuse the offer you will have to leave your temporary accommodation and find somewhere else to stay.
You can appeal against decisions which say that:
- you are found not to be homeless
- you are found not to have what the law calls a "priority need"
- you are found to be intentionally homeless
- you are found not to have a local connection with Clackmannanshire, but to have such a connection with another authority, so that you may be referred back to that authority for housing.
You can also appeal against what is called 'discharge of duty'. If you are accepted as unintentionally homeless, in priority need and have a local connection with the area, but do not feel that the housing offered to you is suitable to meet your housing needs, therefore doesn't discharge the Council's homelessness duty to you.
A leaflet explaining the review and appeals procedure is available in Council Offices, but if you want to speak to someone independent about making an appeal you can contact the Citizen's Advice Bureau in Clackmannanshire, or seek legal advice.
If you are unhappy with our decision abut your homelessness application you can request a review. The Council must notify you of this right in our decision letter to you. Appeals for a review should be made within 21 days of receiving the decision. you should put your request for a review in writing, giving details as to why you think that the Council's decision was wrong in your case.
Please send your request to:
- The Homelessness Section
Lime Tree House
If you would prefer, you can also come in to the Council Office and explain why you believe the original decision should be changed.
The officer undertaking the review on your case should be a senior officer who has previously had no dealings with your application and making the decision. This officer should have substantial knowledge of the relevant legislation and the Council's responsibilities towards homelessness applicants. All of the factors in the case will be carefully re-assessed, with any new available information being taken into consideration.
The reviewing officer is able to change the original decision if they think it was incorrect. Equally, however, if the reviewing officer believes the original decision to have been correct it could be upheld. Whatever the final decision may be, the review decision letter should set down clearly why they have reached the conclusion.
The review decision letter should advise you of your right to seek judicial review of the decision if you are still unhappy with the decision. It will also advise you of your right to go to the Local Government Ombudsman with your concerns.
If you are claiming not to have any accommodation, the council should ensure that temporary accommodation remains available to you until your review has been considered.
If our assessment finds that you are homeless but not in priority need, in terms of the law, you will be offered temporary housing for a reasonable period of time while you find somewhere else to live.
Our staff can give advice on your housing options and if needed we can help you fill in housing application forms.