Improving standards of temporary accommodation.
Universal standards for the quality of temporary homeless accommodation have been introduced by the Scottish Government.
The new standards stipulate that local authorities will need to provide safe, warm and high quality accommodation for people at risk of homelessness while a permanent, settled home is found.
In addition, the removal of the current duty requirement on councils to assess whether a household became homeless intentionally which was announced earlier this year has now come into force.
This will make it easier for people who have difficulties in their lives, such as financial or mental health issues, to get support.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:
“Scotland has some of the strongest homelessness rights in the world and these changes will allow more people to benefit from the support available.
“While temporary accommodation can offer an important emergency safety net for anyone who finds themselves homeless, such as those fleeing domestic violence, it should be a purely temporary measure. We want to make sure that anyone facing homelessness is supported into permanent, settled accommodation that meets their needs as quickly as possible.
“We are bringing our guidance up to date so that it assists local authorities and other partners to adopt a person-centred approach to tackle, prevent and relieve homelessness.
“We will continue to work with local authority and other key partners to overhaul and modernise the guidance into a valuable resource to help staff to deliver on the requirements of our progressive homelessness legislation in Scotland. This is part of our wider action plan, backed by £50 million, which sets out the steps we will take to end homelessness for good.”
These changes form part of a wider update to the Homelessness Code of Guidance which helps local authorities fulfil their statutory duties to assist people who are threatened with or who are experiencing homelessness. In addition to the new clear advisory standards for temporary accommodation, the Code will be also updated with a raft of other changes to reflect new legislation since 2005.
Following a consultation earlier in this year, the intentionality and local connection provisions in the Homelessness etc. Act 2003 will commence today, allowing local authorities to exercise discretion about whether to assess homelessness applications for intentionality.
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