Publication - FOI/EIR release

Information held relating to temporary accommodation: FOI review

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
19 Apr 2021
Information held relating to temporary accommodation: FOI review
FOI reference: FOI/202100170718 review of 202100137653
Date received: 5 Mar 2021
Date responded: 25 Mar 2021
Information requested

Further to our letter of 5 March 2021, I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for:

I would like to ask the Minister of Housing Kevin Stewart the following: 

1. How many rough sleepers in Scotland have been helped by taking them off the streets in 2020 and putting them into temporary accommodation because of the Pandemic.

2. How many of them have got into long term accommodation.

3. How many People are still rough sleeping on our streets.

Response

I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed with modifications as I have outlined below.

1. In our response, we advised that we did not have all of the information that you requested. We provided some information about provision made in Glasgow and Edinburgh between 24 March and 31 August 2020, and we otherwise advised you that the Scottish Government did not hold the information you requested. We indicated that the information that you were seeking is held by local authorities rather than the Scottish Government.

I have reconsidered the information that we hold that falls within the first part of your request, and I am satisfied that we have disclosed all of it to you. We have also provided advice and assistance, in terms of section 15 of FOISA, by drawing to your attention the fact that much of the information you seek is held by other authorities.

While we told you that the Scottish Government did not hold some of the information that you requested, we did not expressly tell you that section 17(1) of FOISA applied.

Accordingly, I am modifying our response to question 1 to give you formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. I otherwise uphold our decision without modification.

2. We advised that we did not have the information that you requested and indicated that the information you were seeking is held by local authorities rather than the Scottish Government.

While we told you that the Scottish Government did not hold some of the information that you requested, we did not expressly tell you that section 17(1) of FOISA applied.

Accordingly, I am modifying our response to question 2 to give you formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. I otherwise uphold our decision without modification.

3. In your request for a review, you pointed to a statement made on 23 February 2021 by the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning about the number of people sleeping rough and suggested that, as the Minister had made that statement, we should also have been able to answer this part of your request.

In our initial response, we advised that we did not hold the requested information and indicated that the information you were seeking is held by local authorities rather than the Scottish Government.

We have now reviewed the information that we hold and can advise that, as at the date of your request (14 January 2021) the answer to your question is that there were approximately 26 people sleeping rough in Scotland.

I therefore modify our response to question 3 in order to provide this information to you.

In considering your request, we have decided that it would be appropriate to provide some additional information to you, outwith FOISA, about the process by which the Scottish Government obtains this information, and about the current situation given the passage of time since your original request.

The Scottish Government obtains this information by speaking to front-line service providers on a weekly basis. Due to the nature of the information, it is subject to change and the information that we have provided represents the situation at a particular point in time. We can advise that the figure has been steadily decreasing since the date of your request and, as at the date of this response, there are approximately 11 people sleeping rough in Scotland. We hope this information is of assistance to you.

On 23 March the Scottish Government released its latest homelessness statistics which may provide more background knowledge to help you with any further questions you may have. The statistics can be accessed on our website - Homelessness in Scotland: update to 30 September 2020 - gov.scot(www.gov.scot)

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG