Section 5 Process Disclosure

Housing Associations have a legislative duty to comply with requests from the Council to re-house homeless households in accordance with Section 5 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001. As Inverclyde Council do not have any housing, the Council is required to utilise this referral process as a means of securing settled accommodation for homeless households in conjunction with encouraging and assisting in access to the private rented sector or looking into other possible forms of accommodation as per the client’s needs.

Below is a summary of how the Section 5 process works for your information.

Following your homeless application, if you are found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness within the next 56 days the service will send a ‘section 5’ referral to one of the local housing associations requesting an offer of housing on your behalf. The referral will hold details of your current circumstances in relation to housing, the areas in which you would like to be housed and any support requirements etc.

The housing association will be given a timeframe of five days to answer as to whether they can comply with this request. Housing associations may not be able to comply with the request for reasons such as; a lack of housing availability in your preferred areas, or may be able to comply but are unable to indicate when a suitable property will become available. Under these circumstances you may be asked to rethink the areas outlined in your referral or alternatively the section 5 referral may be withdrawn and resubmitted to another of the local housing associations.

Once you have secured an offer of housing, a viewing will be organised for the referenced property.

In the event that you do not accept what has been considered as a suitable offer of housing, you are at risk of having your case closed by the service, however there is opportunity for you to appeal this decision.  If you accept the offer of housing, when appropriate the Homelessness Services will close your case and thus all future housing relating issues can be directed to and addressed by your new Housing provider.


Compliance responses from Housing Associations following a Section 5 referral from Homelessness Services:

Situation A: Housing Association indicates it will be able to comply with the request within the 6 week period stipulated in Ministerial guidance.

Situation B: Housing Association indicates willingness to comply but cannot indicate when a suitable property will become available.

Situation C: Housing Association indicates it has good reason not to comply.

Situation D: Housing Association advises that a formal offer letter has been sent to the applicant.


For more information please contact:

The Inverclyde Centre, 98 Dalrymple Street, Greenock PA15 1BZ

Phone: 01475 715 880