Homeless criteria

When assessing your eligibility for homelessness services, we ask that you:

  • meet our homelessness definition
  • did not make yourself intentionally homeless
  • have an appropriate local connection.

What is the definition of homeless?

In the normal sense this means that you, and anyone who would reasonably be expected to live with you, either:

  • have no accommodation anywhere in the UK or the world which you are entitled or permitted to occupy
  • can no longer be reasonably expected to go on living in your present home, typically because of the threat of violence from another member of the household, or
  • because your present accommodation is so sub-standard that it presents a real danger to your health.

Did you intentionally make yourself homeless?

We are looking to see if you did or did not do something (deliberately) as a result of which you lost your home due to:

  • rent arrears (where it still would have been reasonable to expect payment)
  • antisocial behaviour
  • leaving your accommodation without securing an alternative

Do you have a local connection?

You will have a local connection with the Scottish Borders if:

  • You have lived in the area for at least six months during the last year, or for not less than three years during the last five years.
  • You, or a household member, are permanently employed in the area.
  • You, or a household member, have close relatives in the area.
  • You, or a household member, are caring for a relative in the area.

If we find that you do not have a local connection, we cannot offer you permanent housing in the area. However, if you meet the rest of the criteria we can provide temporary accommodation.

We can also contact the housing department of any council you do have a connection with who may be able to rehouse you. This is known as a Section 33 referral.

You would normally have to meet the above criteria before being offered permanent accommodation in the Scottish Borders area. However, people in special circumstances are assessed on a case by case basis. This includes those fleeing domestic violence or if you have no local connection anywhere in the United Kingdom.

Download relevant Homelessness documents