Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for homelessness services

Information for homelessness organisations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This document is part of a collection

Health advice

The latest coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance from NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government, can be found on NHS Inform.  Frontline homelessness workers have an important role to play in helping people experiencing homelessness to use this information. 

Guidance for homelessness professionals

Health Protection Scotland has released guidance to support those working in homelessness settings.

Support for people with no recourse to public funds

To reduce the spread of the virus, local councils are being supported to take a public health response to meet the accommodation and other needs of people with no recourse to public funds.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) has published guidance for local authorities setting out how they can fulfil their safeguarding duties towards people with no recourse to public funds during this period.

COVID-19 treatment is free for all and anyone with symptoms, regardless of their immigration status, should follow NHS Inform guidance in the same way as those who are ordinarily resident in Scotland.

Anyone requiring immediate or urgent healthcare in Scotland, not only for COVID-19, will receive it regardless of their immigration status or their ability to pay if charges apply.

Help with housing costs

Those who are struggling with their housing costs, where universal credit or housing benefit does not cover the cost of their rent, may be eligible for a discretionary housing payment.

To be considered for a discretionary housing payment you must be in receipt of housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit

Tenants in the social or private rented sector who have rent arrears as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for support from the tenant grant fund.  The main aim of the grant funding is to assist those most at risk of homelessness.

Local councils are responsible for considering discretionary housing payment and tenant grant fund applications and for making payments.

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