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Your Housing Options and Homelessness

This article contains information on what to do if you need help to stay in your current home and how we can help you move in a planned way to a home that meets your needs. This will help identify your "housing options", based on your needs, and what to do if you have lost, or are about to lose, your home.

Housing Options and your Toolkit

If you are unhappy with your housing situation we recommend that you firstly identify your housing options

To assist we have developed this easy to use toolkit which will help identify the options available to you.  Options can include:-

  • Exchanges
  • Renting privately
  • Adapting your home
  • Council housing

Click here to access the Housing Options Toolkit

We have also prepared a Housing options Guide which includes a great deal of information about housing in West Lothian.

Homelessness

If you think you will become homeless in the near future contact us straight away for advice. Please do not wait until you do not have anywhere to stay - we may be able to prevent you becoming homeless.

You are homeless or threatened with homelessness if:

  • you have no accommodation that you can legally reside in or are likely to become homeless within 2 months
  • your family, who normally live with you, are forced to live separately from you as you have no accommodation you can live in together
  • you have accommodation, but you have, for example, been illegally evicted, or forcibly prevented from living in it
  • you may be at risk of violence from someone living in the accommodation if you continue to live there.

To help avoid a crisis, please contact the Council for help and advice as soon as possible. We will give you advice and information which might prevent homelessness. For example, you can get money advice if you are having trouble paying your mortgage or rent, advice on your rights if you are a tenant, or advice if you are separating from your partner. If you have nowhere to stay, the Council will normally arrange temporary accommodation for you for a period of time.

Contacting us

A free phone number is provided at 0800 032 3450.

The Council provides a 24 hour service for people who are homeless or potentially homeless. During out of office hours customers can make contact using 01506 280000 where a Customer Service Adviser will deal with the enquiry. Alternatively contact the police.

What Happens Next?

During office hours a Housing Options Officer will initially see customers at Blackburn Assessment Centre. Planned appointments can be made at a number of council locations or the applicant's home. At this time please take any letters or documents which relate to your homelessness, to your health or to your financial circumstances to the meeting. You will also need to provide proof of your identity. This will help the officer to make a decision about your case more quickly.

Legislation

The laws about homelessness are very complicated but 'homeless' broadly means having no housing that is reasonable for you and the people who normally live with you, to carry on living in. You are 'threatened with homelessness' if you are likely to become homeless within the next two months, for example, if you have been taken to Court by your landlord and the Court has said you must leave your home within two months.

Some FAQs about homelessness

Homeless Health Team

If you are experiencing mental health difficulties and are homeless or at risk of homelessness , you can contact the Homeless Health Team.

Homeless Health Team
West Lothian Civic Centre
Howden South Road
LIVINGSTON  
EH54 6FF
Tel: 01506 282809/ 282810

We are a team of mental health workers, who can support you to access appropriate services, treatment and interventions to improve your wellbeing and mental health.

Aiming to Improve and maintain the Mental Health & Wellbeing of  People who experience Homelessness in West Lothian.

Useful Information

Further information may be found here.