28. 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.
29. The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) was subsequently established to initiate these changes. HARSAG made 70 recommendations which have led to the Ending Homelessness Together High Level Action Plan, which sets out how the Scottish Government (SG) will work with partners to end rough sleeping and homelessness. Delivery of the HARSAG recommendations is being supported by the £50m Ending Homelessness Together Fund.
30. The HARSAG recommendation to commence the Local Connection and Intentionality provisions in the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 led to a consultation on the subject which opened on 31 January 2019 and closed on 25 April 2019. The consultation gathered views on taking forward this recommendation, alongside gathering opinions on narrowing the definition of intentionality to focus on deliberate manipulation of the homelessness system.
31. In total, there were 72 responses to the consultation, of which 65 were from organisations and 7 from individuals.
32. Respondents were assigned to respondent groupings in order to enable analysis of any differences or commonalities across or within the various different types of organisations and individuals that responded.
33. A list of all those organisations that submitted a response to the consultation and agreed to have their name published is included in Appendix 1.
Table 2: Respondent Groups
34. As Table 2 shows, the two largest organisation sub-groups were local authorities and third sector organisations.
35. Responses to the consultation were submitted using the Scottish Government consultation platform Citizen Space, or by email or hard copy.
36. It should be borne in mind that the number responding at each question is not always the same as the number presented in the respondent group table. This is because not all respondents addressed all questions. This report indicates the number of respondents who commented at each question.
37. Two organisations referred to research or engagement they had undertaken and which were incorporated into their response; one had undertaken discussions among people with lived experience of homelessness; and the other had held a series of workshops and discussions among individuals involved in planning, delivering and using homelessness services across Scotland. The views expressed in these discussions have been incorporated into the consultation analysis.
38. Some of the consultation questions contained closed, tick-boxes with specific options to choose from. Where respondents did not follow the questions but mentioned clearly within their text that they supported one of the options, these have been included in the relevant counts.
39. The researchers examined all comments made by respondents and noted the range of issues mentioned in responses, including reasons for opinions, specific examples or explanations, alternative suggestions or other comments. Grouping these issues together into similar themes allowed the researchers to identify whether any particular theme was specific to any particular respondent group or groups.
40. When considering group differences however, it must also be recognised that where a specific opinion has been identified in relation to a particular group or groups, this does not indicate that other groups did not share this opinion, but rather that they simply did not comment on that particular point.
41. While the consultation gave all who wished to comment an opportunity to do so, given the self-selecting nature of this type of exercise, any figures quoted here cannot be extrapolated to a wider population outwith the respondent sample.