Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Order 2020: equality impact assessment

This amendment to the 2014 Unsuitable Accommodation Order seeks to amend some of the Articles within the 2020/139 Order laid in May 2020 and to clarify terms and definitions of suitability of accommodation and when exemptions should apply.

Equality Impact Assessment Record

Title of policy/ practice/ strategy/ legislation etc.

The Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Order 2020


Kevin Stewart

Lead official

Myra Quinn

Officials involved in the EQIA



Marion Gibbs

Homelessness team

Directorate: Division: Team

Directorate for Housing and Social Justice: Better Homes Division: Homelessness Team

Is this new policy or revision to an existing policy?

Amendment to existing legislation


Policy Aim

The aim of the policy is to develop and amend legislation 2020/139 – the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2020, to take account of feedback from the local authority working group and other stakeholders about the drafting of the Order.


SSI 2020/139 was laid on 5 May and came into immediate effect and extended the 2014 Unsuitable Accommodation Order (UAO) from pregnant women and children to all homeless households. This meant that the maximum number of days local authorities can use unsuitable accommodation for any homeless person is seven days.

It fulfils a PfG commitment that the order would come into effect this parliamentary term (by May 2021), to ensure people are provided with the highest quality accommodation to support them out of homelessness.

The definition of unsuitable was extended and redefined slightly and now also refers to minimum safety standards, the need to be in the locality of employment and that accommodation is suitable for children to visit, where the household has access to non-resident children. It also corrected an anomaly that exempted only local authority owned supported accommodation by extending the exemption to accommodation owned and operated by third sector organisations.

A series of exemptions were created to take account of accommodation models for different needs, including shared tenancies, community hosting and rapid access accommodation.

A local authority working group was created to oversee the development of guidance to support the implementation of the 2020/139 Order. During this process, the Group identified that changes to the Order were needed to correct drafting issues.

Who will it affect?

Amending this legislation will ensure that all homeless households will be placed in accommodation that meets minimum suitable standards and that the maximum number of days that local authorities will be able to use unsuitable accommodation for any homeless person is seven days.

What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?

Every local authority is working to implement its rapid rehousing transition plan (RRTP), backed by £24m SG funding over three years. Each RRTP sets out the plans to implement and transition to a rapid rehousing and Housing First approach to redress the local balance of temporary and settled housing options and represents significant culture and systems change in how they respond to homelessness and for the expectations of people affected by it.

Achieving the desired outcomes will be dependent upon the success of the RRTP implementation, so that there is a reduction in the need for temporary accommodation in the first place by reducing demand through effective prevention and re-housing, and improving outflow or move-on into settled housing.


Email: Homelessness_External_Mail@gov.scot

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