Ready Steady Baby


Housing rights and benefits for new parents

While you’re pregnant and when you become a parent it’s important to have a home which you know is safe and where you can feel settled.

Having a safe and secure home will help you to build a support network and give your child a positive start in life.

Get as much support as you can to help you find a home that suits you and your family’s needs.

Worried about losing your home

If you’re worried that you might lose your home:

Getting the right advice early can help you know your rights and find your way through what can sometimes be a complicated system.

Talk to your midwife if you’re worried you might lose your home or that your home isn’t safe for your baby.

Shelter Scotland has more about housing rights while pregnant

Discretionary housing payment (DHP)

If you get housing benefit or universal credit but it doesn’t cover your rent in full, you may be able to get a discretionary housing payment (DHP) to help you meet your housing costs.


  • is usually given to people the local authority thinks need more help with housing
  • can be used to cover the difference between your rent and housing benefit or help with a deposit or rent in advance

You can apply for DHP from your local council.

How to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment

Heating your home

When you have a newborn baby, keeping your home warm’s important to help them stay well. But for some families this can be difficult because of fuel poverty.

Fuel poverty is when you live in a home that’s hard to keep warm at a cost you can manage. Whether you’re in fuel poverty or not is affected by:

  • your family’s income
  • the cost of energy (electricity, gas, oil)
  • how you use energy in your home
  • how energy efficient your home is

To have a warm, energy efficient home it’s important to:

  • know what you’re using energy for
  • find ways to use less energy
  • make your home more energy efficient

Home Energy Scotland can give you energy advice over the phone and help some families with extra support and a home visit.

Further information and other languages and formats

Translations and alternative formats of this information are available from Public Health Scotland.

If you need a different language or format, please contact

Last updated:
15 December 2023