The Michael Lynch Centre for Enterprise
71 Princes Street, Ardrossan, Ayrshire
KA22 8DG Tel No: 01294 475636

Scottish Charity No 028100
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CHAP provides free, confidential, independent advice, information and advocacy support on housing and housing related issues to all residents across North Ayrshire.

Advice and Information on: Rent arrears, Council tax arrears, Homeless issues, Eviction, Neighbourhood disputes, Re-housing issues.

CHAP can help

Housing Information

F.A.Qs >Homeless Info >Professionals

Our Services

CHAP provides free, confidential, independent advice, information and advocacy support on housing and housing related issues. The service is available to all residents of North Ayrshire, regardless of which town or area you live in.

Advocacy is about enabling service users to enforce their rights with advisors assisting them to enforce these rights. Housing advocates support individuals to have a say in housing matters which affect their lives.

Advice and Information Available Support
  • Housing options
  • Rent arrears / Council tax arrears
  • Homeless issues / Appeals
  • Eviction / Attend court
  • Antisocial behaviour issues
  • Repairs
  • Security of tenure
  • Complete housing applications / medical forms
  • Complete housing benefit / council tax forms
  • Attend homeless presentations
  • Contact housing providers
  • Appeal homeless decisions and tenancy offers
  • Attend court to defend tenancy

If you require any additional information / assistance to deal with your housing issues, please contact us.

You can download more details and information by clicking on the links below.

Rent Arrears |   Eviction |   Housing Options |   Repairs

Rent Deposit Guarantee

Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme (DiGs)CHAP currently run East Ayrshire Councils Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme. Through these schemes it is possible to access... (more)

Volunteering Opportunities

C.H.A.P Volunteering OpportunitiesThere are a number of volunteering opportunities throughout CHAP including, answering calls, buddying Advocates, developing resources, I.T.....(more)

Frequently Asked Questions

Homeless Info >Professionals >Back to top

Below you will find a list of Frequently Asked Question's regarding Housing.

How do I go about getting a house?

Providing you are sixteen or over you can access a common housing register which now exists in North Ayrshire and you can get an application form from any one of the housing providers.

You can find details for housing providers in your area in the local telephone directory under "Housing Association and Trusts" or under the "Housing" heading of the local council (you can also find details of these in the useful links section).

These application forms must be completed and returned to the relevant housing provider, where they will be assessed and points awarded.

I have medical needs, what do I do?

The North Ayrshire Housing Register has a medical form which you are able to complete. You should complete an Application for Accessible Housing form if you, or a member of your household, have a health issue or disability that affects your ability to carry out day-to-day living activities in your home. An Occupational Therapist may visit and ask for further information relating to your condition from your G.P. or other medical professionals.

Medical points can be awarded in some circumstances.

I am homeless, what do I do?

There are two categories of homelessness, those who are homeless and "roofless" and those who are homeless but have been staying (on a temporary basis) with family and / or friends.

In both cases, a homeless person should report to the Homeless Advice Team(HAT) at Galt House, 31 Bank Street, Irvine - 01294 314600 - and ask for a homeless interview.

Those attending for interview should provide as much information as possible to help their case for housing. While awaiting the outcome of the interview, all individuals should be offered temporary accommodation. If someone has their own temporary accommodation while awaiting the outcome of their homeless interview, they may not require the council facilities.

If you find yourself homeless outwith office hours, call the out of hours emergency helpline on 0800 0196 500.

I have rent arrears, what do I do?

If you have rent arrears, then you should contact your housing provider immediately. They will inform you whether or not you could be entitled to housing benefit (which could help with your arrears). They may also agree to set up a payment scheme to help you address these arrears. We would advise you not to miss any of these payments as it could result in eviction. If you have a problem meeting these payments, you must contact your housing provider straight away.

I am being evicted, what do I do?

You should contact CHAP straight away. If we are unable to help we will try and signpost you onto someone who can.

If you require additional support during the process of dealing with your housing issues, CHAP can offer free, independent and confidential information, advice and advocacy support on most housing issues.

Homelessness Information

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What is homelessness?

Homelessness means not having a home. You don't have to be living on the street to be homeless, even if you have a roof over your head you can still be without a home. This may be because you don't have any rights to stay in the place where you live or your home is unsuitable for you.

You can be classed as homeless in a number of different situations including;

  • Sleeping on the streets
  • Staying with family or friends
  • Staying in a hostel or bed and breakfast
  • At risk of violence in your home
  • Living in poor housing conditions (houses below 'tolerable standard')

Why do people become homeless?

There are so many reasons why someone may become homeless. Homelessness doesn't take into account your age, sex, colour, financial status, upbringing or beliefs. Some of the more common reasons for homelessness are;

  • Relationship breakdowns
  • Eviction
  • Losing your job
  • Family breakups
  • Natural Disasters
  • Health Problems
  • Addiction
  • Lack of Independant Living Skills

If you are homeless, what should you do?

If you have nowhere to stay or are worried about having to leave your home you can ask the council for help by making a homeless application. To do this you should contact the Homeless Assessment Prevention and Advice (HAPA) service,details are available at your local Council Housing Office. Or if you are homeless outwith normal working hours you can telephone 08000 196 500 or contact your nearest police station.

For more information including a step by step guide of the homeless procedure click here.


Complex Debt

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Services Provided:

  • Negotiating repayments with creditors, including payday loan lenders
  • Advice on bankruptcy
  • Representation at court proceedings
  • Accredited Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) Advisors
  • Assistance with Council Tax Arrears

If you wish assistance or further information with regards to welfare rights issues, please contact us. Please click Download here to learn of important recent changes to debt solutions.

Welfare Rights

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Services Provided:

  • Income maximisation (help to ensure that you are accessing your full entitlement to state benefits)
  • Assistance with requesting backdates of benefits
  • Assistance with completing relevant forms
  • Assistance to appeal benefit decisions
  • Tribunal representation
  • Assistance with tax credits
  • Assistance to appeal benefit sanctions
  • General information and advice on benefits

If you wish assistance or further information with regards to welfare rights issues, please contact us. Please click Download here to learn of important recent changes to welfare rights.


F.A.Qs >Homeless Info >Back to top

Accreditation, Services and Advocacy

CHAP is an accredited Type III provider for Scottish National Standards in five areas of housing law. They are; homelessness, security of tenure, eviction, housing options and rent arrears. We provide advice and information to individuals who are experiencing issues with tenancy matters, including those who are homeless or may be about to become homeless.

This service provides a trained advocate who undertakes a case study and adopts either a pro-active role to preventing homelessness or a re-active role by linking people into appropriate services. Advocates support individuals to make telephone calls, write letters and arrange and provide representation to enable them to address their housing issues.

Who we help

The service is aimed at anyone aged 16+ who is, or is about to become the tenant of a local authority, registered social landlord or a private landlord, regardless of their status, health issues, etc. The service empowers the individual to have their views and opinions heard by the decision makers and overcomes the barriers of literacy and communication difficulties. The service helps resolve issues that may have otherwise resulted in eviction.

Providing Service

CHAP is a customer focused and person centred organisation and is able to combine a variety of services to address housing and related issues. From an advocacy perspective, the service looks at addressing all of the issues which result in the individuals housing issues or homeless situation and promotes partnership working to ensure that service users are able to access support to deal with the underlying causes which have resulted in their current situation.

Although the principles and independence of the service are of the utmost priority to the organisation, we are happy to "tailor make" the service to best serve the requirements of our customers. We employ staff and recruit volunteers locally to deliver the service in your area because we are of the opinion that local knowledge plays a large part in achieving success

Service can be provided on an annual contract or part thereof, each being priced to meet the needs of the individual customer. Information regarding services can be obtained by contacting the Director of Services. Contact us here.

CHAP 2012 | Scottish Charity no 028100

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