Having somewhere to call home is a basic human right and housing is one of the most important factors in any person's quality of life. Scotland has some of the strongest homelessness rights in the world, but we know that not everyone is able to access those rights and that there are some who still face barriers to support when faced with homelessness. The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring everyone has a safe, warm settled home of their own by building on these strong foundations to go further to prevent, tackle and ultimately end homelessness for good.
The Programme for Government announced by the First Minister on 5 September 2017 set out a new commitment to eradicate rough sleeping, transform the use of temporary accommodation in Scotland and end homelessness. Ministers subsequently established the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) to make recommendations on how these transformational changes could be achieved.
In June 2018, HARSAG completed their work, producing a comprehensive set of recommendations aiming to secure strategic changes at both national and local level which would help support delivery on the front-line. In November 2018, the Scottish Government and COSLA published the Ending Homelessness Together High Level Action Plan which sets out the actions we will take in partnership with others to act on the HARSAG recommendations and realise our shared ambitions to end rough sleeping and homelessness.
This Scottish Government consultation paper invites your views on taking forward the commitment we made in the Action Plan on transforming temporary accommodation by:
1. extending the seven-day restriction on time spent in unsuitable temporary accommodation to all people experiencing homelessness; and
2. introducing a legally enforceable temporary accommodation standards framework.
Section 1 of the consultation paper provides background and context for the proposed changes and sets out the current position around unsuitable accommodation legislation and standards in temporary accommodation.
Sections 2, 3 and 4 detail our proposed changes and include our consultation questions on the extension to the unsuitable accommodation order; introduction of new advisory standards for temporary accommodation and how these should be enforced and monitored.
We would encourage you to respond to any or all of the questions in sections 2 to 4 where you have a contribution to make. However, in responding to this consultation, please do not feel constrained by the questions set.
We have produced questions to support partner organisations to help ensure a wide range of views of those with lived experience of living in temporary accommodation are captured as part of this consultation. The lived experience questions are available at Annex A of this consultation.
The consultation paper contains 6 sections:
Section 1: Background – provides context and an overview of the work of HARSAG on temporary accommodation and what they recommended and sets out the current legislation contained within the Unsuitable Accommodation Order (UAO) and current guidance on Temporary Accommodation (TA) standards.
Section 2: Proposed changes and Consultation Questions on the Unsuitable Accommodation Order.
Section 3: Proposed changes and Consultation Questions on Advisory Temporary Accommodation Standards.
Section 4: Proposed changes and Consultation Questions on Enforceable Temporary Accommodation Standards.
Section 5: How to Respond – contains information on how to respond to the consultation and a copy of the respondent information form.
Section 6: Annexes – contains Annexes referred to throughout the consultation paper.