Homelessness Assistance

Housing options

Remaining at current address/returning to previous address

This option could be considered if staying at your current address/returning to your previous address does not pose any risk to your health.

The Homeless Team can help with the following:

Dealing with rent/mortgage arrears

  • referral for Financial Inclusion Service for benefit/debt advice
  • ask about Mortgage to Rent Scheme
  • negotiate with lender/landlord to set up repayment agreement

Mediation Services

  • referral for Family Liaison (16-21years)
  • referral for mediation services/mediation between neighbours

Assistance with repairs/alterations

  • referral for Environmental Health
  • referral for Housing Strategy
  • contact with Border Care and Repair
  • liaise with Social Work and/or Occupational Health

Installation of safety devices

Renting from a private landlord and the Deposit Guarantee Scheme

The private sector is normally the fastest way to secure accommodation in a chosen area. Some properties are available to let furnished.

The Deposit Guarantee Scheme helps people on low incomes to raise the required deposit. This option is not available for individuals with a current ASBO and cases where previous rent arrears are not being addressed.

Finding available property in the private sector:

  • contact local estate agents to enquire about available private lets
  • check local papers, notice boards and internet for available private lets
  • calculate if you may be entitled to a Local Housing Allowance - you can do this by contacting any local council contact centre or our financial inclusion officer can do a calculation for you
  • ask whether you may be eligible for help with the deposit through the Deposit Guarantee Scheme. Download our leaflet or contact the Homeless Team to find out more

Renting through Private Sector Leasing Scheme

You are matched with a suitable private sector leasing scheme property in a chosen area by the Homeless Prevention Officer. This option is not available for individuals with a current ASBO and cases where previous rent arrears are not being addressed.

Renting from a Registered Social Landlord

This option provides better security of tenure. Accommodation is allocated based on the housing need. The length of the process will vary on the areas and properties you choose to apply for.

You must register with either:

Priority passes are awarded to those in significant housing need. Each provider gives details of the passes available for their properties in the registration pack that each customer receives, though all Registered Social Landlords ensure that priority is available for homelessness, for serious medical situations where a change of house will improve someone's circumstances, and for serious overcrowding, but other passes are available too.

Outright or low cost ownership

This means purchasing a property outright or using various initiatives to buy a stake in the property. To find out more contact your local estate agents or housing associations

Mutual Exchange/Management transfer

Mutual Exchange is applying to exchange houses with another Housing Association or council tenant. This can be with another tenant from your housing provider or a different Registered Social Landlord or Council.

  • homeswapper is for social tenants (in rented property) who want a house swap, flat swap or exchange their council house. Is you live in a council house or housing association property you can swap
  • if you wish to apply for a mutual exchange within Scottish Borders you should contact your local housing association
  • if you wish to apply for a mutual exchange throughout Scottish Borders and UK you will need to register with Homeswapper
  • to request a management transfer you can contact your housing provider who will make a decision based on your circumstances (exceptional circumstances only)

Don't wait until you're homeless or about to become homeless before you seek advice.

Find out more about the Deposit Guarantee Scheme Download advice and information about living in the private rented sector

Homelessness services

Monday to Thursday: 8:45am-5pm, Friday: 8:45am-3:45pm, Emergency out of office hours: 01896 752111

Address: Galashiels Area Office
Paton Street
Office access is Monday to Friday: 10am to 12noon and 2pm to 3:45pm

Telephone: 01896 661385