13. Current Outcomes and Standards: Homeless People (Charter outcome 12)
HOMELESS PEOPLE (Charter outcome 12)
Local councils perform their duties on homelessness so that homeless people get prompt and easy access to help and advice; are provided with suitable, good-quality temporary or emergency accommodation when this is needed; and are offered continuing support to help them get and keep the home they are entitled to.
This outcome describes what councils should achieve by meeting their statutory duties to homeless people.
Question 12a): Would you keep this outcome exactly as it is or change it? Please explain your answer.
13.1 Amongst the 86 respondents who answered this question, 73% indicated that they would keep the outcome as it is; 20% would change the outcome; and 7% did not know whether not they would keep it as it stands.
13.2 The majority of TRGs, RSLs and local authorities were in favour of keeping the outcome as it stands (see Table 13.1 in Annex 2 for a breakdown of views by category of respondent).
Views of those in favour of keeping the outcome as it is
13.3 Views amongst those favouring the status quo were that the outcome made sense, was relevant, clear and concise and easy to understand.
13.4 NHS Health Scotland welcomed the emphasis on homelessness in the Charter, and urged that this should be retained and strengthened further to reflect the importance of this issue for health and wellbeing.
Views of those in favour of changing the outcome
13.5 Amongst those favouring change, a few recommended that the outcome should not be limited to the statutory duties of councils, but broadened to reflect the role all social landlords play in helping homeless households access permanent accommodation. One local authority requested that the outcome and narrative be changed to reflect the requirement for councils to work with relevant partner services to help meet homeless people's needs.
13.6 Other comments are in Annex 3.
Question 12b): Please provide any suggestions on how we could improve the supporting narrative
13.7 Two respondents, one individual and one RSL, both perceived the supporting narrative to be acceptable but relatively "light" considering the significance of the topic of homelessness.
13.8 Consistent with comments in relation to the outcome, a few respondents ( TRG and a local authority) recommended that the narrative should include reference to RSLs complying with their duties to help alleviate homelessness by working in support of local councils.
13.9 CELCIS and Who Cares? Scotland requested that the supporting narrative should contain acknowledgment that some vulnerable groups, such as care-leavers, can experience additional risk of homelessness, and suitable support should be in place to meet their particular needs. One individual concurred that the narrative appears appropriate for relatively straightforward cases but not in cases where there are also other issues such as anti-social behaviour.
13.10 One RSL called for the narrative to provide customers with a greater understanding of what they are entitled to through the council's statutory duties, for example, types of re-housing; timescales for re-housing; support to find suitable housing; access to benefits.