Time limits on temporary homeless accommodation

Limiting stays in B&Bs and more consistent quality standards.

The time people facing homelessness spend in unsuitable temporary housing including B&Bs could be limited, following a consultation launched today.

A seven-day restriction in unsuitable temporary accommodation for everyone experiencing homelessness, as currently exists for families with children and pregnant women, is being proposed.

The Scottish Government also wants improvements made to the consistency of temporary accommodation quality across the country.

While most temporary accommodation is generally good, with the majority of homeless households found accommodation in the social rented sector, there are no set standards which cover the range of temporary accommodation available.

The consultation will also consider what legally enforceable standards could look like, developed in partnership with the sector and people with lived experience. These changes would mean that people living in temporary accommodation will experience a higher and more consistent level of accommodation and support while a permanent solution to their housing need is found.

Speaking at the Housing First Scotland annual conference in Edinburgh today, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

“Temporary accommodation can offer an important emergency safety net for anyone who finds themselves homeless with nowhere else to go, such as those fleeing domestic violence. But it should be just that – temporary.

“We want to make sure that the time anyone spends in temporary accommodation is as short as possible before moving to a more appropriate, settled home.

“It is also essential that temporary accommodation is of good quality so those who experience homelessness have the best possible chance to find their feet again.

“Making settled housing a priority is a key action in our plans to end homelessness, backed by £50 million of investment. We recognise the importance of a settled home for supporting people to live their life with good health, wellbeing and a sense of community and belonging.”


  • Read and take part in the consultation
  • To help support people quickly into permanent accommodation, and to minimise the length of time they spend in temporary accommodation, the Scottish Government has set aside up to £23.5 million for the implementation of Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans
  • As part of this, £6.5 million has been invested in the Housing First programme, which prioritises settled accommodation for people with multiple, complex needs. This allows them to fully integrate into communities, breaking the cycle of repeat homelessness and temporary accommodation which can often aggravate their conditions


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