Paragraph 4.21 of the Code of Guidance on Homelessness states that where an application is made under the homelessness legislation, this should be recorded through the electronic case-based HL1 returns to the Scottish Government's Homelessness Statistics branch.
There are three distinct stages to each case recorded on the HL1:
- The application
- The assessment decision
- The outcome
Returns to the Scottish Government will generally cover complete stages. Information from earlier stages may be updated as an application progresses.
Stage 1 covers questions 1 to 16c. Much of the information requested here is background information about the household characteristics. This will be recorded at the time of application or during the initial interview. The authority does not need to check answers to questions that are not necessary for making of the assessment decision. Although they may wish to do so.
The applicant should be informed of the following:
- where information is not required to progress the application or make an assessment decision, they do not have to provide the information.
- any information they provide will be passed on to the Scottish Government for statistical purposes only.
- their anonymised responses will be used for the following purposes:
- to monitor equal opportunities
- to monitor the operation of the Homeless Persons legislation
- in the development of policy by the Scottish Government
Applicants are therefore encouraged to answer questions as honestly as possible.
Applicants can be informed why a particular question is being asked. But it is not necessary to enter details about all the questions, as this may make the application process cumbersome. Questions which are not directly related to the assessment process are: 3b, 10, 10a, 10c, 10d, 12, 13, 14a, 14b, 15, 15b and 16b. Although 3b and 15 may be required for the authority’s data management purposes. Answers to these have the potential to inform local and national policy making. They may also highlight extra support available to the applicant household.
Stage 2 covers questions 17 to 20d. The information requested at this stage is about the assessment decision. Questions 17 to 20 must all be completed by the authority as a true record of the decision. Questions 20b to 20d, while not forming part of the decision should be completed at the same time.
Stage 3 covers question 21 to 25. The information requested is about the outcomes of the case:
- the actions taken by the authority to discharge their duty
- the use of temporary accommodation
- the accommodation in which the applicant was housed following the discharge of the duty
This stage must be completed by the authority when the case is closed.
Questions numbering and the numbering of possible responses within questions may appear odd in some places. This is to allow the data generated by the new questionnaire to be easily fitted together with data from the previous questionnaire.
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