Supporting transformational change
The Scottish Government previously committed in the programme for government 2019-20 to creating a third sector homelessness fund. We promised that funding of up to £4.5 million would be provided over three years to third sector organisations on the frontline to innovate and transform the services they provide. This scheme was delayed because of the pandemic. As a short-term measure, we agreed to provide funding to those organisations who had applied to the new fund and had previously received funding from the Housing Voluntary Grant Scheme. This will remain in place until the end of June 2021.
We will relaunch the third sector homelessness fund by the end of 2020 and awards will be made in 2021/22.
Applicants will need to demonstrate that the work they are doing supports transformation of the homelessness system and is aligned with the vision, approaches and priorities set out in this updated action plan. Applicants will also be required to assess the equality impact of their proposals, for example, by considering factors that prevent women’s and children’s homelessness.
Equality breakdowns of homelessness data
We had already committed to publishing equality breakdowns of the homelessness statistics. We published additional equalities analysis for the first time in November 2019.
We intend to continue to publish updates to this analysis through the annual homelessness statistics in future years, with the most recent data published in August 2020. This will help build understanding of the experiences of all groups with protected characteristics.
We will also work with local authorities, the Social Housing Regulator and other partners to review the homelessness data collection (HL1) to improve our understanding of the causes of homelessness and outcomes and to improve our data on people with protected characteristics. This will inform development of equality impact assessments as we take forward the actions and policies set out in the plan. We are also aware that not all households experiencing homelessness approach their local authority for support. We will therefore progress plans regarding a broader evidence base, including through the development of the new case management system described earlier in the report.