HL1 user information

Data specification and guidance for data providers of the HL1 homelessness data return.

Additional guidance on case closure in relation to Section 32A (Provision of Non-permanent Accommodation)

1 - Provision of interim accommodation for those who require a support service prior to taking up permanent accommodation - households who require supported or supervised accommodation for a period to enable them to address issues and enhance their ability to maintain tenancies in the long term. In practice this could mean providing Short Assured Tenancies in the private rented sector with outreach support or placement in voluntary sector resettlement projects using occupancy agreements. The Interim Accommodation Regulations advised that reviews of progress be carried out after 6 months from provision of accommodation.

(a) Are the previous Interim Accommodation Regulations now covered by Section 32A?

Yes. Section 6 of The Homeless Persons (Provision of Non-permanent Accommodation) (Scotland) Regulations 2010 revokes the Homeless Persons Interim Accommodation (Scotland) Regulations 2002

(b) If so should the case be closed when interim accommodation is provided or kept open until the review is carried out and final duty is discharged?

The case should be closed at the point when the interim accommodation is provided under Regulation 4.

(c) If the case is closed when interim accommodation is provided and subsequently reopen it because the review concludes that a Scottish Secure Tenancy should be provided will reopening the case be counted as a repeat homeless application for HL1 purposes?

Following the provision of interim accommodation under Regulation 4, there is no need to re-open the case on the HL1 or to amend it to show an SST has been offered or provided at a later stage.

2 - Provision of non-secure accommodation in the private rented sector (PRS) - Section 32A enables discharge of the Section 31 duty to non-permanent accommodation in the PRS. Guidance advises that the initial short assured tenancy (SAT) should be between 6 and 12 months and following this an affordability review, client and landlord agreement will determine whether the final duty will be discharged to the PRS or whether a Scottish secure tenancy (SST) should be provided in the public sector. It is not clear at which point the case should be closed for HL1 purposes.

(a) Should the case be closed when the initial SAT is provided or should it be kept open until the affordability review has been carried out and a further SAT is agreed?

These cases should be kept open until the initial SAT has been extended for not less than 12 months. If the initial SAT isn’t extended, the local authority still has a duty to provide permanent accommodation. In such cases, cases should be kept open until an offer of permanent has been made or when the authority has otherwise discharged it’s duties to the homeless person.

(b) If the case is closed when the initial SAT is provided and then reopened because the affordability review determines that the PRS property is unaffordable and a SST is required will this count as a repeat application?

No this doesn’t count as a repeat application. Please amend the existing HL1 record to show the new date of case closure and that an SST was offered.

For both 1 & 2 above.

(a) If case closure is permitted at the provision of interim accommodation or initial PRS property and subsequent reopening is required should the original case be used or should a new case be opened?

The treatment of these cases is slightly different. For Regulation 4 (interim accommodation) cases, these can be closed at the point the interim accommodation is provided. For Regulation 5 (PRS) cases, the authority should wait six months to see if the initial SAT has been extended by at least 12 months. If this has happened the case can be closed. If not, keep the case open until duty has been discharged by offering permanent accommodation.

(b) If a new case is opened is this counted as a repeat homeless case for HL1 purposes?

Regulations 4 and 5 envisage the provision of permanent accommodation at some stage (albeit this might only be a 12 month PRS tenancy for regulation 5). New cases should only be opened when this accommodation has broken down.

New cases are counted as repeats whenever a previous application reference are provided, and questions 4a (adsame) and 4b (famsame) are both 1.

(c) If when using S32A a case should remain open until final duty discharge is achieved will this not unduly penalise local authorities on reported case duration times?

Agreed. We recognise that section 32A cases will take longer.

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