Local Authorities

In many areas of Scotland local authorities are still the largest source of rented housing. In some areas you will apply directly to the local authority to be considered for one of their houses. You may also be able to apply for a house under a local authority's Common Housing Register (CHR). A CHR is where a group of landlords devise a single application form by which anyone seeking housing in their area can register their need and specify their housing preferences. Participating landlords then prioritise and select applicants from the single pool of applicants according to their own allocations policy. It is a tool which aims to make accessing housing simpler and fairer for you.

Different local authorities and housing providers will choose tenants in different ways. Individual authorities will prioritise applications based on criteria which address local housing market conditions. Disabled people whose current accommodation is unsuitable for their needs will usually be given a degree of priority.

Local authorities have a duty under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 to assess a person's community care needs and decide in light of that assessment whether to arrange any services and if so which services. Any provision of assistance should be based on a detailed assessment of the individual's care needs and should take account of their preferences. This includes an assessment of your housing needs. You may need to move to a new home because your present one cannot be adapted to meet your needs. If you have a housing need, social work services should work with the local authority housing department or Registered Social Landlords in your area to try to arrange to meet your housing needs.

If you are in hospital then your health board and social work services should work together to help ensure that you are not discharged from a hospital into unsuitable accommodation. A community care assessment must be carried out and if that assessment states that appropriate accommodation is required, it should be arranged before discharge. Your health board may have a delayed discharge programme to help patients whose current accommodation is unsuitable find housing which meets their needs. In certain circumstances your assessment may indicate that your accommodation and care needs require a nursing home or care home placement. In this situation you should be fully involved in deciding if this is appropriate and which home you wish to go to. Remember, if you decide you do not want to go to a nursing or care home you should seek independent advice from a law centre or citizens advice bureau as quickly as possible (please see the useful contacts section for more information).

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