Success criteria are difficult to define and measure. Whilst Local Authorities have a general prevention duty under section 2 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001, Housing Options itself is not specifically defined within a legislative framework.
Because of the differing approaches to deliver their duty, the local authority figures reported in this publication are not directly comparable and cannot be used as indicators of good or bad performance.
In direct contrast, the homelessness legislation provides an assessment framework and each assessment decision gives a statutory entitlement to some form of assistance. The operation of the homelessness legislation can therefore be evaluated by measuring compliance with this framework. For example, the proportion of unintentionally homeless households who secure settled accommodation can be tracked over time.
Scottish Government policy has been for Housing Options to be developed locally. As such, there is no single definition of Housing Options operating across all Local Authorities. The Scottish Government funded Housing Options Hubs are working to develop a training toolkit which will introduce a degree of consistency across the country but there will be local developments taking account of housing markets and available options.
The purpose of this publication is to provide a statistical update on the operation of Housing Options between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, providing further reporting of the statistics available since April 2014.