Temporary accommodation should be of good quality, safe, warm, affordable and there is a consistency of standards across all local authority areas. The Scottish Government’s consultation in August 2019 on improving temporary accommodation standards covered proposed changes to three main areas:
- the Unsuitable Accommodation Order
- advisory standards for temporary accommodation
- the development of a temporary accommodation standards framework
To date, the Unsuitable Accommodation Order has been extended to all homeless households from May 2020; and new advisory standards for temporary accommodation were created and published in November 2019 in the interim Homelessness Code of Guidance. The new advisory standards for temporary accommodation build on the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland/Shelter Scotland guidance published in 2011 and help to ensure that any time spent in temporary accommodation causes minimal harm.
This working group has been established to help produce a new standards framework, identify if legislative changes are required, consider how the framework can be applied and regulated (monitored, assessed and recorded) and produce tangible processes to support this.
- to ensure the Scottish Government and stakeholders work in partnership to develop and produce a new temporary standards framework
- to ensure that equality (including disability), health (including mental health) and lived experience impacts are all considered when developing the framework
- to identify if legislative changes are required and, if so, the extent of these and the associated timescales
- to consider how the framework should be implemented by all local authorities to ensure that all temporary accommodation throughout Scotland is of a consistently high quality
- to consider the support local authorities may require to overcome any barriers they face as they work towards full implementation of the standards framework
- to consider what the Scottish Government can do to help local authorities in their efforts to ensure compliance with the standards framework
- to consider how the standards framework can be regulated (monitored, assessed and recorded)
- to consider how local authorities can report the progress they will make towards full compliance with the framework
The group will be chaired by Jim Hayton, Scotland’s Housing Network.
- ALACHO/Fife Council
- Ayrshire and South Hub
- Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland (CIH)
- Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders Hub
- Homeless Network Scotland Change Team
- Horizon Housing Association
- Housing Enabling Support Unit
- Housing Options Scotland
- North and Islands Hub
- Scottish Association of Landlords
- Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
- Scottish Government
- Shelter Scotland
- Simon Community Scotland
- Tayside, Fife and Central Hub
- West Hub
- Wheatley Group
Members commit to attending each working group meeting or to nominate a consistent deputy where attendance is not possible.
Engaging the wider sector
In developing the framework, the group will also need to consult and take account of the views of wider homelessness stakeholders and the Scottish Housing Regulator. Scottish Government colleagues will collate views from other partners and feed these into meetings. Guests may be invited to working group meetings to speak to specific agenda items.
The group will provide updates to the Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group on a regular basis.
Where appropriate to do so, the views and approval of Scottish Ministers and Council Leaders will be sought for decisions made by the group.
Arrangements for meetings
- this is a short life working group which will meet virtually between six and eight times
- the first meeting will take place on 7 October 2021, with meetings taking place on a monthly basis, although the group might meet more frequently in the initial stages
- Scottish Government officials will provide secretarial support to the group, providing meeting agendas, supporting papers, an action log and minutes of meetings
- members will have the opportunity to share written updates before meetings to keep meetings focused and efficient
- papers will be circulated to the group in sufficient time and no later than the week before the meeting takes place
- a note of meeting will be taken by Scottish Government officials and circulated to group members for comment in timely fashion. Agreed actions will be assigned owners
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