Publication - Strategy/plan

Ending homelessness together: updated action plan - October 2020

Published: 8 Oct 2020
Directorate:
Housing and Social Justice Directorate
Part of:
Housing
ISBN:
9781800041028

Updated Ending Homelessness Together action plan, outlining how national government, local government and third sector partners will work together on our shared ambition to end homelessness. It has been revised to reflect actions needed in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Ending homelessness together: updated action plan - October 2020
What is new in our updated action plan?

What is new in our updated action plan?

Scotland already has some of the strongest rights in the world for people who are homeless. National and local government partners have a shared vision and an ambitious plan to end homelessness. Scotland’s plan is the right one – we need to stick to it and maintain momentum. This update to Ending Homelessness Together renews our commitment to ending homelessness, raises our ambition in light of the public health crisis and sets out the next steps on Scotland’s journey to end homelessness and rough sleeping. 

We are already delivering on many of the more urgent recommendations from the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group. The rapidity and effectiveness of our collective response to COVID-19 has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the numbers of people sleeping rough, taking us closer to our goal of eradicating rough sleeping.

We are placing even greater emphasis on the prevention of homelessness. We have put in place a raft of measures to support people to remain in their homes and prevent rent arrears. We have legislated to minimise the risk of evictions into homelessness. We have introduced new pre-action protocols for private rented sector landlords. We have significantly increased the money available to local authorities for crisis grants and discretionary housing payments. We have invested more in money advice services. We are introducing a hardship loan fund for tenants

We have learned a lot during the pandemic and that has prompted us to think about the practices and programmes we want to build on, such as Housing First, and those we want to leave in the past, such as night shelters. 

In this updated plan, we set out proposals to modify night shelter provision this winter and end the use of night shelter and dormitory style provision in future. To support this transition, we are establishing rapid rehousing welcome centres to provide an under-one-roof triage service to people experiencing the most acute forms of homelessness.

We will build on the success of the Housing First pathfinder and scale up Housing First more rapidly. Over 300 tenancies have now started and no-one has been evicted from their home. Alongside this, we have a shared ambition to see a significant increase in the proportion of social homes allocated to people who are homeless for a limited period.

Equality is the thread running through our updated action plan. To that end, we will strengthen the voice of lived experience in the policy-making process; we will advance legislative protections for people experiencing domestic abuse; and we will explore alternative routes to reduce migrant homelessness.

We continue to learn about what works and that is why this is a living action plan. Our next formal report to parliament on progress will be in October 2021.

Summary of new and existing actions

The following table provides at-a-glance information on the status of all the actions – existing and new – in our Ending Homelessness Together action plan, grouped by the five approaches.

Approach: Embed a person-centred approach

Action - 

1. Build on evidence base to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the risk of homelessness for particular groups

Status New - Added since last publication

2. Strengthen the role and influence of the Change Team

Status New - Added since last publication

3. Support people to access digital equipment, data and training 

Status New - Added since last publication

4. Develop a lived experience programme

Status - Completed

5. Apply a gendered analysis to our actions, ensuring the homelessness system meets the needs of diverse groups of women

Status - Started

6. Explore options for taking forward personal housing plans

Status - Well underway

7. Ensure a child wellbeing assessment is undertaken where children are homeless

Status - Started

8. Organise an event for local authorities and housing providers to share best practice

Status - Completed

9. Support frontline staff in their work with people experiencing homelessness

Status - Started

10. Publish first modules of housing options training toolkit

Status - Started

11. Raise public awareness of homelessness and challenge stigma

Status - Well underway

Approach: Prevent homelessness from happening in the first place

Action - 

12. Introduce the transfer of tenancy provisions for social housing tenancies as part of the domestic abuse bill

Status New - Added since last publication

13. Publish an implementation plan to respond to the recommendations of the domestic abuse pathway group

Status NEW - Added since last publication

14. Develop and implement human rights-based accommodation pathways for women and children with no recourse to public funds who are experiencing domestic abuse

Status New - Added since last publication

15. Share innovative and successful examples of early prevention and effective tenancy sustainment work

Status New - Added since last publication

16. Work with COSLA and local authorities to introduce shared and more streamlined application processes for discretionary housing payments

Status New - Added since last publication

17. Use information sharing powers to help local authorities target people who are most need of discretionary housing payments

Status New - Added since last publication

18. Support the social housing sector to identify and support households at risk of homelessness before they reach crisis point

Status New - Added since last publication

19. Develop cross-sector project to establish mechanisms for avoiding evictions into homelessness

Status New - Added since last publication

20. Take forward further awareness raising activity on financial support and tenancy rights

Status New - Added since last publication

21. Look further at affordability in the private rented sector, building on the work to set up and review rent pressure zones

Status New - Added since last publication

22. Assess the impact of temporary pre-action protocols in the private rented sector to inform the development of permanent pre-action protocols

Status New - Added since last publication

23. Support the First-tier Tribunal to improve transparency around outcomes for tenants through better use of data

Status New - Added since last publication

24. Develop rapid protocols with public institutions as part of prevention pathway work

Status New - Added since last publication

25. Test, learn from and improve the homelessness prevention approaches recommended in the pathways

Status NEW - Added since last publication

26. Respond to the recommendations from the prevention duty review group, setting out our next steps in 2021

Status New - Added since last publication

27. Develop prevention pathways for groups at particular risk

Status - Well underway

28. Prevent and respond effectively to youth homelessness

Status - Started

29. Increase focus on tenancy sustainment

Status - Well underway

30. Make homelessness assessments more flexible

Status - Planned in 2021/22

31. Embed a ‘no wrong door’ approach

Status - Started

32. Embed homelessness prevention in Housing Beyond 2021 (due to be replaced by Housing to 2040)

Status - Completed

33. Understand the impact of UK welfare reforms

Status - Well underway

34. Set out plans for a new public sector homelessness prevention duty

Status - Well underway

35. Improve outcomes for women experiencing domestic abuse

Status - Started

36. Review implementation of the SHORE standards

Status - Well underway

37. Create a homelessness prevention fund for social landlords

Status - Well underway

Approach: Prioritise settled homes for all

Action - 

38. Take forward work on the right to adequate housing (through work on First Minister’s national taskforce for human rights leadership)

Status New - Added since last publication

39. Build on early results from pathfinder programme and work with local authorities to scale up Housing First more rapidly

Status New - Added since last publication

40. Significant increase to the proportion of social homes allocated to people who are homeless while we are still in phase 3 of Scotland's route map

Status New - Added since last publication

41. Complete the delivery of 50,000 affordable homes as soon as it is safe to do so

Status New - Added since last publication

42. Encourage the housing sector to prioritise the process of bringing empty homes back into use

Status New - Added since last publication

43. Support local authorities to build stronger relationships with the private rented sector and to develop their empty homes services and private rented sector access schemes

Status New - Added since last publication

44. Support local authorities to submit rapid rehousing transition plans

Status - Completed

45. Support local authorities with plans to deliver Housing First in their areas

Status - Completed

46. Evaluate and provide feedback on all rapid rehousing transition plans

Status - Completed

47. Support the Housing First Scotland pathfinder programme in five cities

Status - Well underway 

48. Forge partnerships with health and justice systems to embed Housing First

Status - Started

49. Develop best practice examples of choice in settled housing

Status - Well underway

50. Assess impacts of providing wide range of housing options in local areas

Status - Started

51. Set up a temporary accommodation funding framework

Status - Started

52. Establish a third sector homelessness fund to support transformational change

Status - Well underway

Approach: Respond quickly and effectively whenever homelessness happens

Action - 

53. Share summaries of audits of the numbers and needs of people in emergency accommodation with the Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group

Status New - Added since last publication

54. Support local authorities and health and social care partners with their efforts to provide appropriate move on support and stable accommodation for all those currently in emergency accommodation

Status New - Added since last publication

55. Learn from recent initiatives and consider what further support is needed to help people with the transition out of the crisis

Status New - Added since last publication

56. Work with local authorities and other partners to provide access to safe and self-contained accommodation during the pandemic

Status New - Added since last publication

57. Support our partners to modify existing night shelter provision in Edinburgh and Glasgow in winter 2020/21 and actively end the use of night shelter and dormitory-style provision in future

Status New - Added since last publication

58. Form alliances with like-minded partners (on support for people with no recourse to public funds), including other devolved nations and cities

Status New - Added since last publication

59. Work with the Everyone Home Collective so that the route map to end destitution informs our forthcoming anti-destitution strategy

Status New - Added since last publication

60. Explore alternative routes through which to provide accommodation to people with no recourse to public funds

Status New - Added since last publication

61. Extend funding for projects that provide advocacy and legal advice to destitute asylum seekers and people with no recourse to public funds

Status New - Added since last publication

62. Publish guidance later in 2020 on the Unsuitable Accommodation Order and bring forward a further Scottish statutory instrument that will provide clarity on the changes to the Order

Status New - Added since last publication

63. Develop a model of frontline outreach

Status - Started

64. Put in place training and support for frontline staff (through the development of the housing options training toolkit)

Status - Started

65. Support local winter planning

Status - Well underway

66. Support people engaged in street begging

Status - Started

67. Press UK Government on migrant homelessness

Status - Well underway

68. Prevent homelessness for those with no recourse to public funds

Status - Well underway

69. Clarify protection afforded to those with no recourse to public funds

Status - Completed

70. Set out broader range of accommodation options in crisis situations

Status - Planned in 2021/22

71. Share information about short-term community hosting as a crisis response

Status - Started

72. Publish options appraisal for new rough sleeping data collection

Status - Completed

73. Revise legislative arrangements for intentionality and local connection

Status - Well underway

74. Amend intentionality definition to focus more closely on ‘deliberate manipulation’

Status - Planned in 2021/22

75. Consult on extending Unsuitable Accommodation Order to all

Status - Completed

76. Introduce temporary accommodation standards

Status - Well underway

77. Complete voluntary review of homelessness provision at Glasgow City Council

Status - Well underway

Approach: Join up planning and resources to tackle homelessness

Action - 

78. Work with Public Health Scotland to ensure that guidance on infection prevention and control remains fit for purpose and develop separate guidance for homelessness services in Scotland

Status New - Added since last publication

79. Improve how we use Public Health Scotland data and intelligence capabilities to ensure improved outcomes

Status New - Added since last publication

80. Learn from the crisis period to further improve drug and alcohol treatment and harm reduction services

Status New - Added since last publication

81. Ensure next National Performance Framework review includes explicit consideration of homelessness

Status New - Added since last publication

82. Ensure local authorities, housing providers and public bodies join up to prevent homelessness

Status - Started

83. Update code of guidance on homelessness

Status - Well underway

84. Review need for code of practice in code of guidance on homelessness

Status - Planned in 2021/22

85. Embed homelessness as a public health priority

Status - Started

86. Improve join up between health, social care, housing and homelessness planning

Status - Started

87. Join up housing, employment and employability support

Status - Planned in 2021/22

88. Produce cross-government response to the Hard Edges report

Status - Started

89. Work with local authorities and delivery partners on effective implementation

Status - Started

90. Support the homelessness system to respond more appropriately to the shared needs of mothers and children

Status - Started

Approach: Other actions

Action - 

91. Relaunch the third sector homelessness fund by the end of 2020

Status New - Added since last publication

92. Review the homelessness data collection (HL1) to improve our understanding of the causes of homelessness and the outcomes

Status New - Added since last publication

93. Publish equality breakdowns of existing homelessness data

Status - Completed

94. Conduct equality impact assessments

Status - Started

95. Improve homelessness data on protected characteristics

Status - Started

96. Develop the evidence base on homelessness

Status - Started

97. Undertake analysis of the economic impacts of homelessness

Status - Planned in 2021/22

98. Ensure Scottish Government data collections reflect the increased priority of tackling homelessness

Status - Planned in 2021/22


Contact

Email: Homelessness_External_Mail@gov.scot