We have made some progress against the other outstanding actions. Two actions are well underway and we will start work on the remaining action in the next 12 months.
We said we would review the homelessness data collection (HL1) to improve our understanding of the causes of homelessness and the outcomes, improve homelessness data on protected characteristics and ensure Scottish Government data collections reflect the increased priority of tackling homelessness.
The review of the homelessness data collections is a long-term piece of work that will determine the need for – and investigate the feasibility of – capturing a greater amount of high quality data to address gaps in the homelessness evidence base, including on protected characteristics. This should ensure the data collections reflect homelessness priorities. Other workstreams, including our plans to implement new homelessness prevention legislation, will inform this work.
- In late 2020, the Scottish Government consulted on the current and future content of the homelessness statistics data collections (HL1, HL2, HL3 and PREVENT1). The responses were analysed in early 2021 and working groups involving the Scottish Government, local authorities and the Scottish Housing Regulator were established to work through the findings and consider future data development.
- We will consult again on an updated version of all homelessness data collections to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to comment on the proposed changes before they are finalised.
We said we would conduct equality impact assessments.
The public sector equality duty requires Scottish public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities. These requirements are critical in ensuring that we consider the needs and disadvantages faced by people with protected characteristics as we continue to respond to the pandemic. The Scottish Government and COSLA want homelessness policies and practices to be sensitive to different forms of inequality. The Scottish Government brought forward analysis of equality characteristics so that this information could be included in its main homelessness statistics publication in June 2021. While the pandemic has changed the way we work, we remain committed to providing services that meet the diverse needs of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
- The Scottish Government has carried out equality impact assessments on the recent amendments to the Unsuitable Accommodation Order and to local connection legislation.
- Local authorities have undertaken equality impact assessments of their rapid rehousing transition plans.
We said we would undertake analysis of the economic impacts of homelessness.
The Scottish Government already undertakes a business and regulatory impact assessment (BRIA) of any proposed legislation or regulation. The BRIA analyses the cost and benefits to businesses and the third sector of the policy change. The aim is to use evidence to identify the proposal that best achieves policy objectives while minimising costs and burdens as much as possible.
- As part of the work to develop new homelessness prevention legislation, the Scottish Government will assess the evidence on the financial costs and benefits of taking action to prevent homelessness in Scotland.