Annex A: Lived Experience Questions on Temporary Accommodation Standards
We are interested to hear about your experience of living in temporary accommodation and/or working with people living in temporary accommodation. We are also interested in what you think about our plans to improve temporary accommodation.
Please answer any of the following questions that are applicable to you:
About your experiences
1. When you first became homeless were you given access to temporary accommodation immediately by your council if you required it?
2. What type of temporary accommodation were you placed in? (B&B, hostel, furnished flat etc)
3. What do you need from temporary accommodation to make it suitable for you?
4. How many different temporary accommodations were you placed in? Why was this the case? What impact did this have on you?
5. We are making changes to the Unsuitable Accommodation Order so no-one has to stay in 'unsuitable' accommodation for more than 7 days. What does unsuitable mean for you?
6. Legally, suitable accommodation currently means that you:-
- Are housed where people in your household can access schools and medical services in the local area
- Have adequate bedrooms for members of your household
- Have exclusive use of toilet and washing facilities for members of your household
- Have access to your own or shared cooking facilities and use of a living room
- Can stay in the accommodation at all times, with no curfew and are allowed visitors
Is there anything else you would add to the above list or take away?
7. In your experience how common is it to stay in unsuitable accommodation like this?
A) Very common
B) Quite common
C) Not common
8. What types of accommodation are more likely to be unsuitable?
A) Bed and Breakfast
C) Furnished Flat
9. Would you change the description of suitable accommodation in any way?
10. Currently the Unsuitable Accommodation Order means that local authorities must not house families and pregnant women in unsuitable accommodation for more than 7 days. Do you think that this should be changed so that everyone is covered by the Unsuitable Accommodation Order?
Standards in Temporary Accommodation
11. We want to improve the standards in temporary accommodation across Scotland.
Thinking about your experience(s) of living in temporary accommodation, what types of things would make/have made your stay more positive or pleasant?
12. How would you compare the standard of temporary accommodation with the standards of any permanent accommodation that you have experienced?
13. How easy was it to raise any issues or problems about the standard of your accommodation and get things fixed?
A) Very easy
B) Quite easy
C) Not easy
14. Would having a set of Scottish Government standards for temporary accommodation help you raise any problems you face with your accommodation?
15. Do you think councils should be penalised (for example, through a fine) if the accommodation they provide does not meet these standards?
16. As a first stage, we want to put the standards into a refreshed Code of Guidance, which local authorities are expected to follow. These will be known as Advisory Standards and will allow us to do something quickly. The second stage will be to introduce Enforceable Standards but this will be a longer process as we need to consider all of the existing legislation that covers permanent housing standards to make sure that temporary accommodation meets all of these.
Do you have any comments about this approach?
17. We propose that standards cover the following areas:
- Physical: safe and secure, access to proper cooking, washing facilities, suitable for disabled people, clean, enough living space etc.
- Suitability: affordable and meets your needs.
- Located near services: schools, medical facilities
- Support: you can get the support you need from a range of services
- Management: your possessions are protected, you have a written occupancy agreement, you are involved in discussions about your stay and there are processes for moving in and out, you get a rent statement
Do these cover the right areas to improve standards in temporary accommodation? Is there anything missing?
18. We will set up a Working Group to develop the new standards framework for temporary accommodation. Is there anything you think this group should do or take into account as they do this?