If you find yourself homeless, or about to be, the following will explain what you should expect:

Assessment of Homelessness

If you think you are homeless, or about to be, and you contact West Dunbartonshire Council to request advice or assistance you will usually be offered an assessment interview with a Homelessness Caseworker.  This will help us to assess the best way to help you. 

Your assessment interview will be conducted in complete confidence in a private room and you will be asked for personal details relevant to an assessment of your housing and support needs.

For example, you will be asked to provide information about:

  • Your household composition
  • Current and previous addresses
  • Reasons for homelessness
  • Health problems, medication and treatment
  • Addictions
  • Income, debt and financial circumstances

You will be asked to provide proof of who you are (passport, drivers licence, etc.), proofs of income and residence as well as other documentary evidence, when this is necessary to process your application.

You can expect to be interviewed by a caseworker who will put you at ease, listen sympathetically to your account of your circumstances and provide appropriate advice and assistance in relation to your rights.

Please request a same sex interviewer if this would be helpful.  We would also encourage you to bring a friend, family member, carer or advisor with you to your interview if you would prefer not to attend on your own.

Assessment Decision

1. Are you homeless or about to be?

If you are not homeless then the council does not have any duty towards you.  You can however still apply for a house with us.

If you are homeless, or about to be, we may use our discretionary power to assess whether you are intentionally homeless.

2. Are you intentionally homeless?

You are intentionally homeless if you have deliberately done, or failed to do, something that has resulted in you becoming homeless or threatened with homelessness.  For example if you were made homeless after being evicted from your house because of anti social behaviour.

If you are assessed as being intentionally homeless you will be offered temporary accommodation (where required) for a reasonable period of time.  Your caseworker will give you advice and assistance to finding a permanent house to stay.

If you are assessed as being unintentionally homeless be offered temporary accommodation.

3. Do you have a local connection?

Local connection has been suspended in Scotland therefore this test will not be applied if you are presenting from anywhere in Scotland.  We will still however record whether you have a local connection to West Dunbartonshire by the following tests. 

You will have local connection to West Dunbartonshire if you:

  • Have lived in the area for the last 6 months
  • Have lived in the area in the last year or 3 of the last 5 years
  • Have close families links in the area, and that they have lived here for at least 5 years
  • Require vital ongoing medical treatment in the area
  • Are escaping domestic abuse from another area
  • Have permanent employment o education in the area

If you do not have a local connection to West Dunbartonshire and you are from out with Scotland you will be referred back to the council that you have a local connection with.

If you have a local connection or are from somewhere else in Scotland, then you will be provided with temporary accommodation and the council will find you permanent accommodation.  This will include referring you to housing associations in the area.

What type of temporary accommodation can I stay in?

The majority of people who are homeless stay in one of our temporary furnished flats. These flats are dispersed throughout the entire local authority area.  If you are placed in temporary accommodation, you will have a named Accommodation Worker. And will be provided with their contact details. The Accommodation Worker will carry out regular visits to the temporary accommodation to check on your wellbeing and also ensure that the terms of the occupancy agreement are being adhered to. They can also make a referral to Housing Support Services for you,  if additional support needs are identified.

Some people who are homeless are offered supported accommodation if it is felt that need some support before managing a tenancy. West Dunbartonshire currently has a number of support accommodation projects. These include 3 run by Blue Triangle Housing Association and West Dunbartonshire Council’s Ashton View Project.

You can be provided with temporary accommodation while your homeless application is being assessed and while there is a review/appeal process ongoing.