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Homelessness advice and support

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

Advice can be found in our leaflet: Are you homeless (PDF, 338kb).

Next steps

If you are homeless, or are likely to become homeless within the next 2 months, visit our office in Irvine. If you are unable to travel, contact your nearest Housing Office.

We offer a drop-in service where you can discuss your housing situation with a member of staff. We can arrange an appointment to suit you.

housing options (PDF, 291kb) interview will discuss your circumstances. If you want to proceed with a homeless application, a Homeless Assessment Officer will help you with this process.

Out of hours

A Homeless out of hours service is available to anyone that needs help.

Free phone number: 0800 0196 500

Interview process

During your interview, we help you complete a homeless application form. In line with legislation and to process your application, we will ask:

  • whether you are homeless or threatened with homelessness within 2 months of your interview
  • whether you are homeless intentionally or not
  • whether you have a local connection with North Ayrshire

We may ask you to provide confirmation of your current situation.

You should bring any letters, or documentation, relating to your homelessness. This will help us reach a quicker decision.

You may bring a relative, friend, advisor or other representative with you. We will ask if you would be more comfortable being interviewed by an officer of the same sex.

Information you give us confidential. We will only use it to assess your application under the terms of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, as amended by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.


An assessment will be carried out based on information you provide. We will issue a formal written decision. This happens within 28 days of the date of your application.

We will look at whether or not you are intentionally homeless. This is where you have done something deliberately to cause yourself to be homeless such as not paying your rent or mortgage when you could afford to do so.

Another area which may be looked at will be if you have a local connection. You may have a local connection if:

  • you have lived here for 6 out of the last 12 months or 3 out of the last 5 years
  • you have permanent work in the area
  • you have close relatives - mum, dad, brother or sister who have lived here for the past 5 years
  • you have very special reasons why you must live in the area


The Housing Support Team will help you, and members of your household, to manage your tenancy or temporary accommodation. Contact them by calling 01294 317370.


You have the right to appeal any decision relating to your homeless application within 21 days of your decision being reached.

Write to the Principal Officer, Homelessness clearly stating the reason for your appeal. You will be entitled to free independent advice from the Community Housing Advisory Project (CHAP). CHAP can advocate on your behalf. We will invite you to an interview to discuss your appeal.

Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme

The Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme helps you rent from a private landlord. It gives the landlord a written 'guarantee' instead of a cash deposit.

Who is eligible?

This scheme helps people who are currently, or at the risk of becoming, homeless. You must:

  • be receiving benefits or have a low wage or income (due to Housing Benefit restrictions, we find it difficult to help single people under the age of 35 with this scheme)
  • not be able to afford a deposit for a private let
  • be willing to pay the deposit back to the landlord, and
  • have a local connection to North Ayrshire

For more information, download our rent deposit scheme leaflet (PDF, 184kb).

Information and advice is available for private landlords.

Contact Homelessness Assessment Prevention and Advice Team




01294 314600 

0800 019 6500 - out of hours


North Ayrshire Council, Galt House, 31 Bank Street, Irvine, KA12 0LL