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 our 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 can be achieved.
In June 2018, the HARSAG completed their work, producing a comprehensive set of 70 recommendations aiming to secure strategic changes at both the national and local level which would help support delivery on the front-line. All 70 recommendations have been translated into the Ending Homelessness Together High Level Action Plan which was published by the Scottish Government and COSLA on 27 November 2018. This plan sets out the actions we will take in partnership with others to realise our shared ambitions to end rough sleeping and homelessness.
This Scottish Government consultation paper invites your views on taking forward our joint commitment to address barriers for people facing homelessness by implementing the HARSAG recommendation to commence the Local Connection and Intentionality provisions in the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003. We have also committed in our Action Plan to narrowing the definition of intentionality to focus on ‘deliberate manipulation’ of the homelessness system, as recommended by the HARSAG. The Scottish Government are currently considering the options regarding this element of the recommendation and are asking for your initial views in section 3 to inform our further work.
The proposed changes are set out in the next chapter and the full recommendation set out by the HARSAG is on page 10.
The consultation paper sets out the current position and proposals to commence the current local connection and intentionality provisions within homelessness legislation. People working in local authorities and with delivery partners across Scotland will be at the heart of making this change and ensuring barriers to support are addressed; and people facing homelessness are at the heart of our commitment to making these changes. We want as many people as possible to share their views on commencing Local Connection and Intentionality provisions in the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003. We would encourage you to respond to any or all of the questions in Section 3 where you feel you have a contribution to make. However, in responding to this consultation, please do not feel constrained by the questions set.
The consultation paper contains 4 sections:
- Section 1: Background – sets out the background to the provisions contained in the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 as they currently apply; to the powers contained within the Homelessness (Scotland) Act 2003 and further information on the HARSAG and the recommendations proposed.
- Section 2: Proposed Changes – sets out the proposed changes to the current provisions and monitoring arrangements.
- Section 3: Consultation Questions and How to Respond – contains the consultation questions; information on how to respond to the consultation and a copy of the respondent information form.
- Section 4: Annexes – contains Annexes referred to throughout the consultation paper.
Email: Marion Morris