Homelessness Legislation (General Guidance)

Homelessness Legislation is complex. Some general guidance is provided below.

Entitlement to Permanent Accommodation

To be entitled to permanent accommodation you must satisfy four conditions which are defined by law. These conditions are as follows:

1. That you are homeless or threatened with homelessness

You are homeless or threatened with homelessness if:

• you have no accommodation which you are entitled to occupy e.g. you have been living with friends or relatives and they cannot, or are no longer willing to accommodate you
• it would not be reasonable to expect you to continue to occupy your present accommodation due to unfit living conditions
• you have accommodation, to which you cannot secure entry e.g. if you have been illegally evicted by your landlord
• to remain in your present accommodation, or to return to your previous accommodation, could result in violence or the threat of violence from someone with whom you live, or used to live
• your present accommodation is a moveable structure (e.g. caravan, houseboat etc.) and you have no place to station it in order to live in it
• your present accommodation is overcrowded and may endanger your health and/or the health of others living in the same accommodation
• you are likely to be homeless within the next 2 months

You do not have to be sleeping rough to be homeless.

2. That you have not become homeless or threatened with homelessness intentionally

You are intentionally homeless or threatened with homelessness if: you have deliberately done something, or have deliberately failed to do something, that has led to you losing the accommodation that was available to you, e.g., if you willfully fail to pay your rent, you may be considered ‘intentionally homeless’.

If you are homeless, or threatened with homelessness, and in priority need, but are found to be intentionally homeless, we have a duty to provide you with temporary accommodation for a reasonable period of time to allow you to secure your own accommodation. We also have a duty to provide you with relevant advice and assistance.

3. That you have a local connection

You have a local connection if:

• you normally live, or have lived in the past, in the Western Isles
• you are normally employed in the Western Isles
• you have a family association in the Western Isles
• you have moved to the Western Isles because of special circumstances. If you have no local connection with the Western Isles we can contact another local authority with whom you do have a connection on your behalf.

If you satisfy all of these conditions, the Comhairle will refer your application to the Hebridean Housing Partnership (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) (HHP) for an offer of appropriate housing. You will be entitled to a maximum of two offers. However, due to the pressure on HHP’s housing stock you may have to spend some time in temporary accommodation. Even if you do not satisfy all of the conditions we will provide you with temporary accommodation, if appropriate, for a reasonable period of time to allow you to secure your own accommodation, and will give you advice and assistance.