The impact of these changes on groups with protected characteristics
163. Question 9 of the consultation paper asked,
Q9: Please give us your views on the impact of these proposed changes on people with protected characteristics (Age, Disability, Gender reassignment, Race, Religion or belief, Sex, Sexual orientation)
164. Around half of the respondents provided an answer on the impact on people with protected characteristics. Moreover, many of these respondents provided the same response for each group of protected characteristics.
165. Many of the comments made were that there would be no impact on any specific group with protected characteristics, that there would be no adverse impact or that any impact would be positive.
166. Some respondents outlined specific positive impacts and these included:
- A streamlining of the homeless assessment service.
- Improvements for those who might be subject to discrimination; it was often, although not solely, young single males who were given as an example of a group who would benefit from the proposed changes.
- It will ensure that those who might not currently be entitled to assistance will be able to seek help and access support.
- It will allow for increased opportunities to access accommodation.
- It will offer access to accommodation in a wider geographic area, and where services are available.
- Fair / better access to housing and health services.
- Better health outcomes.
167. A few respondents outlined negative impacts and this included that those who are not experiencing homelessness but on the housing list may have greater problems accessing accommodation because of the priority given to people experiencing homelessness.
168. A small number of respondents once again highlighted issues of concern and these included a lack of suitable accommodation, a need for greater resources for local authorities and a need for monitoring to ensure that all groups with protected characteristics receive the support they need.
169. A small number of respondents also felt that the outcomes are unknown at present. One respondent suggested an impact assessment could be carried out by the Scottish Government; another that human rights assessment and assessment of the impact on health inequalities would need to be conducted.