What will we do?
Equality and human rights considerations have been central to the development of Housing to 2040 to-date. For example:
- Housing to 2040 recognises that our approach to ending homelessness must account for particular groups at risk of homeless and rough sleeping and particular risk factors, such as socio- economic disadvantage. Our aim is to advance equality of opportunity between those who share a protected characteristic and those who don’t. We will implement and embed homelessness prevention pathways for those released from prison sentences or remand, young people leaving care, young people, victims of domestic abuse, and veterans.
- Our new Rented Sector Strategy will take an equality-led approach to addressing the current gaps in housing options for people with protected characteristics as well as vulnerable groups and those living in temporary accommodation, with a specific focus on addressing the needs of women and children, victims of domestic abuse, disabled people, minority ethnic groups and those with complex needs.
- Our work to increase the use of offsite construction in new affordable homes will support a more diverse workforce than traditional construction, aiming to present a more attractive career for women and people with disabilities. And we will seek to bring Fair Work practices to our zero emission affordable homes strategy to drive green, good and fair jobs across the labour market.
- Our work to introduce a new Scottish Accessible Homes Standard will see accessibility built into new homes from the start, ensuring people with disabilities have an increased range of housing options and reducing the need to make costly changes to homes as people get older or when their needs change.
- We will develop new support for older home owners and those with disabilities, helping them to overcome practical barriers to moving to homes that better meet their needs if they want to move.
To fulfil our commitment to address the housing challenges faced by minority ethnic groups we will act on what we already know and improve our evidence base. We will:
- Ensure that minority ethnic voices are heard in our work to develop a new Rented Sector Strategy.
- Continue to support the delivery of homes that meet the needs of minority ethnic communities, including larger homes where those are needed, through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme.
- Include specific consideration of the needs of this group in our review of the adaptations system.
- Take forward further research work with people from minority ethnic groups to better understand and address the barriers they face to accessing social housing.
- Carry out a review of the evidence of minority ethnic people’s representation in employment in the housing sector in 2021 and support the sector in identifying and taking forward resulting actions.
As we move ahead and develop the details of policies, we will continue to ensure that equality and human rights considerations inform policy development. This will support and be informed by the work we are taking forward to develop a mainstreaming equality and human rights strategy, as committed to in Programme for Government 2020-21.
As previously mentioned, we know that there are some areas where we lack evidence or data. We will develop a plan to gather the evidence needed to close the gap in our knowledge and understanding, working across the Government and with stakeholders.
To ensure that we and others can assess progress towards achieving our Vision and be held accountable, we will set up a governance process and monitoring framework. Our first step will be to review, with stakeholders, the Housing and Regeneration Outcome Indicator Framework to make sure it aligns with Housing to 2040 and helps to give us the insight we and others need to monitor progress and ensure we are advancing equality in our work. We will periodically review the route map to reflect and address any evolving and changing circumstances as they occur over the next two decades.
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