Breakdown of all monies being paid to asylum seekers, support for housing, benefits and extras, the number of hotels the Scottish Government is using to house them and confirmation as to whether the Scottish Government is paying to heat these hotels.
In your clarification of 15 December, you also asked for the total amount paid by the Scottish Government to help the homeless, e.g. shelter, food, rehoming. As you did not specify a timeframe over which you were looking for this information, funding for the last full financial year (2021-22) as well as all funding committed in the current financial year (2022-23) has been provided.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The reasons why we do not have this information are explained below.
Scottish Government support for asylum seekers
The Scottish Government has provided £362,500 to the British Red Cross to operate the Scottish Crisis Fund project from 1 April to 31 December 2022. This project provides emergency support to people who are facing barriers accessing mainstream support, including people seeking asylum. It does not provide a long term income source but is intended to provide immediate crisis support where people are experiencing destitution, particularly until they are able to access other support they are entitled to. The Scottish Government does not hold detailed data relating to recipients of Crisis Funds provided and therefore cannot provide you with a breakdown of the total amount of money provided to support people seeking asylum through this project. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested.
Asylum and immigration are reserved to the UK Parliament and handled by the Home Office. This includes provision of asylum accommodation and support to those who would otherwise be destitute while awaiting a decision on their asylum application. While our aim is to provide information wherever possible, as the Scottish Government has not procured hotels to accommodate people seeking asylum, this is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested.
Information about asylum support provision is published on the UK Government website: Asylum support: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
You may also find information which has been published by the Home Office under previous information requests, as part of statistical releases, or otherwise made available on the UK Government website: Home Office - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
If there is further information you are looking for you may wish to contact the Home Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out whether there is further information which they would be able to provide.
Scottish Government support for people experiencing homelessness
In 2021-22, the Scottish Government provided funding of £693,688 to homelessness third sector organisations for a range of initiatives to tackle rough sleeping. This includes intensive assertive outreach support for entrenched rough sleepers in Edinburgh and the operation of Rapid Rehousing Welcome Centres (RRWCs) in Glasgow and Edinburgh. RRWCs provide short term, safe and selfcontained rapid access accommodation with on-site multi-agency services which help people at risk of rough sleeping to access settled accommodation and additional support services. Funding was also provided to third sector organisations in 2021-22 for personalised budgets, which provide frontline outreach workers with quick access to resource to meet the immediate needs of people at risk of homelessness and/or rough sleeping and to help them access support via commissioned homelessness services.
So far in 2022-23, the Scottish Government has committed funding of £480,578 for personalised budgets, RRWCs and assertive outreach support service for long term rough sleepers in Edinburgh.
The Scottish Government’s policy towards local authorities’ spending is to allow local authorities the financial freedom to operate independently. As such, the vast majority of homelessness funding provided to local authorities has been included in the block grant. It is at each local authority’s discretion as to how they use this resource to prevent and respond to homelessness.
In addition, in 2022-23, the Scottish Government has provided local authorities with an annual share of £23.5 million for homelessness prevention and response measures, and an annual share of £8 million to support the implementation of rapid rehousing transition plans (RRTPs). This funding is transferred to local government over the course of the year to help ensure people have the appropriate support and move as rapidly as possible into settled accommodation, which the Scottish Government believes is the best way of ending homelessness.
More generally, there is a range of Scottish Government support for people experiencing poverty and/or who are at risk of homelessness. These include the Scottish Welfare Fund, Tenant Grant Fund, Discretionary Housing Payments, Fuel Insecurity Fund and a range of Scottish social security family payments, such as Bridging Payments, Best Start Grants, Best Start Foods and the Scottish Child Payment.
We have also introduced the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 to introduce a temporary freeze on in-tenancy rent increases and a temporary moratorium on evictions until at least 31 March 2023. The forthcoming Housing Bill will further strengthen existing tenants’ rights and introduce new homelessness prevention duties which will, as well as altering existing homelessness legislation to allow local authorities to act at an earlier stage, ensure that public bodies ‘ask and act’ about potential homelessness.
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.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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