Homelessness Prevention Task And Finish Group: Scottish Government response

Our response to the final report of the Homelessness Prevention Task And Finish Group.


The Homelessness Prevention Task and Finish Group (‘the group’) was asked by the Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group (HPSG) to consider the groundwork needed to ensure the successful implementation of Scotland’s new homelessness prevention legislation.  The commitment to develop wide-reaching homelessness prevention duties is at the heart of Scotland’s homelessness strategy, Ending Homelessness Together.

The group’s report and recommendations were published in August 2023.

The Scottish Government welcomes the report and is very grateful to the co-chairs, Matt Downie and Ewan Aitken, and to the members of the Task and Finish Group, for their carefully thought-out and comprehensive set of recommendations.  We would also like to thank those who took part in the engagement sessions and fed in their experience of good practice in homelessness prevention.

The Scottish Government has confirmed its intention to include prevention of homelessness duties in its 2023-2024 legislative programme.

We have also committed to work closely with partners, in strategic and frontline roles, and with people who have lived experience of homelessness, in developing the legislation, as well as the supporting guidance and training.

The prevention of homelessness duties will build on a strong legislative foundation that already exists for people who become homeless in Scotland. Our commitment to addressing homelessness is also reflected through existing funding to tackle the underlying drivers of homelessness. This has included a Discretionary Housing Payment budget of over £80 million each year, a major anti-poverty measure to help people stay in their homes. £30.5 million annual funding has also been made available to local authorities for homelessness prevention alongside additional funding of £8 million per annum for the implementation of Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans, which should include activity to prevent homelessness. Further funding has been made available for the work of the five Housing Options Hubs involving all Scottish local authorities, and for initiatives such as the Fund to Leave, announced earlier this year, which supports women leaving an abusive relationship with the cost of essentials with a view to preventing their homelessness.

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