Housing and Homelessness
Advice and Support for Non-UK Nationals
Do you have a status of ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’?
The UK imposes limitations on access to public and housing benefit for some types of migrants.
Migrants with a ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition attached to their immigration status, or who are undocumented, will not be eligible for housing benefit or allocation of social housing. This may include people with work, family, or student visas.
Migrants with pre-settled status, most of whom are European, are not eligible to apply for housing benefit if they do not have a right to reside apart from pre-settled status (or their only right to reside is as a jobseeker or Zambrano carer.)
Shelter Scotland has information about how your immigration status affects your housing options.
The Chartered Institute of Housing also has information for new arrivals in Scotland.
See below for what help is available:
Individuals and Families with NRPF can still access most forms of accommodation: Private Rental Properties, Mortgaged Properties, Social Housing via Registered Social Landlords or Housing Co-operatives.
However Social Housing via a Local Authority is deemed a public fund that those with NRPF are unable to be allocated on the basis of eligibility.
Although Council Tax Support (also known as Council Tax Reduction) counts as ‘public funds’, there may be some help via Council Tax exemptions (e.g. if all members of a household are students), discounts (if only a single member household) or rebate (e.g. the April 2022 Energy Rebate Scheme). The NRPF Network has advice on this topic.
Shelter Scotland provides information about the different housing options available here at https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/housing_options/
It is important to remember that regardless of immigration status an individual’s tenant/housing rights are protected under Scottish Housing Legislation.
In Scotland the UK Government Right to Rent policy is not in operation and at present private landlords should not be requesting proof of immigration status prior to letting their property out:
By law homelessness assistance is classed as a public fund and therefore a Local Authority must assess eligibility prior to offering an emergency service.
In an emergency crisis situation it is advisable to seek assistance via Local Authority Social Work teams who can assess where the local authority may have a statutory duty to intervene and support.
Contact Housing/Social Work teams at:
If you don’t have a social worker and are aged 16 years or over and need to speak to someone in person you should visit the Adult Protection Team at Marischal College Customer Service Centre from 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm Monday to Friday.
The Children’s Reception Team assess most new referrals for children’s social work in Aberdeen. They will respond within ten days to determine whether children are in need, or at risk of harm, and there is a need for children’s social work to be involved on a longer term basis. This will include leading on multi-agency planning in response to any immediate risk of harm.
Call: 0800 7315 520 (including an out of hours service)
If you are in an emergency situation and have nowhere to stay phone 01467 530577 (Option 1), between 9am to 5pm. Outside office hours phone 03456 081206. If you think you’ll become homeless in the near future contact them straight away for advice. Please don’t wait until you don’t have anywhere to stay as they may be able to prevent you becoming homeless.
You may also get information from
Call the freephone number 0808 196 7274 to speak to someone who can connect you with help and advice.