Local Housing Strategy: guidance 2019

Guidance to support a local authority to prepare a Local Housing Strategy (LHS).

Annex A – Statutory Requirements and Scottish Government Priorities, Plans & Targets

Statutory Requirements

Section 89 of the Housing Scotland Act 2001 places a statutory duty on every local authority authorities to prepare and submit a Local Housing Strategy to Scottish Ministers. It requires every local authority to assess the nature and condition of the housing stock, the needs of persons in the area for housing accommodation, the demand for, and availability of, housing accommodation. Section 106 requires local authorities to exercise the functions in a manner that encourages equal opportunities and in particular the observance of the equal opportunity requirements.

Section 95 of the Housing Scotland Act 2001 provides a definition of fuel poverty, which is refined by the Fuel Poverty Statement. A new definition, as set out in the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Act 2019, will:

Focus on low income households by introducing a new income threshold which will be 90% of the UK MIS after housing, fuel costs, benefits received for a care need or disability (if any) and the household’s childcare costs are deducted; and help us to better target our resources at those who are most in need of support, no matter where they live in Scotland.

Section 1 of the 2001 Act places a statutory duty on each local authority to carry out an assessment of homelessness in its area and to prepare and submit to Ministers, a strategy (as part of the LHS) for the prevention and alleviation of homelessness.

Equality Act 2010 - includes a statutory public sector equality duty (Section 149) to:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
  • Advance equality of opportunity;
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

The statutory duty requires consideration of the protected characteristics:

  • Age;
  • Disability;
  • Sex;
  • Pregnancy and Maternity;
  • Gender reassignment;
  • Sexual orientation;
  • Race;
  • Religion and Belief; and
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership (with regard to eliminating unlawful discrimination in employment).

The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 as amended place obligations on listed authorities, including local authorities, to assess and review policies and practices.

Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 places a statutory requirement on Community Planning Partnerships to prioritise outcomes for localities and embeds the principle of working with communities to ensure development and regeneration activity meets the needs of the community and maintains community networks.

Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 places a statutory duty on each local authority to have in place a Below Tolerable Standard Strategy, Housing Renewal Area Policy, and Scheme of Assistance Strategy.

Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 creates a statutory framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2020 and at least 80% by 2050. A statutory duty for public bodies to act a) in the way best calculated to contribute to the delivery of the Act’s emission reduction targets; b) in the way best calculated to help deliver any programme laid before the Scottish Parliament; and c) in a way that is most sustainable.

Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 contains a series of targets for the reduction of child poverty in Scotland by 2030. The Act places a duty on local authorities and health boards to jointly prepare and publish an annual Local Child Poverty Action Report, setting out what they have done to contribute to reducing child poverty and what they plan to do in future.

The Island (Scotland) Act 2018 includes a duty to consult island communities before making a change to policy that is likely to have an effect on island communities, which is significantly different from its effect on other communities.

Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 places a statutory obligation of considering and if necessary undertaking a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of all public plans, programmes and strategies.

Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 strengthens the planning system's contribution to inclusive growth and empowering communities. It removes the requirement to provide Strategic Development plans and restructures the process for Local Development Plans, including taking account of community planning, a requirement to produce an evidence report that is independently scrutinised at an early stage, consultation and participation requirements, and list of issues to be considered. It introduces powers for communities to prepare Local Place Plans, which the planning authority must take into account in their Local Development Plan.

Fuel Poverty (Targets, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Act 2019 sets a new target for fuel poverty and introduces a new definition of fuel poverty. Local Authorities should be aware that until all of the elements of the new definition are in effect, including the enhanced heating regime and the remote rural, remote small town, and island uplift and in place then existing arrangements should continue to be used. Local authorities should be aware that following Stage 3 of the Fuel Poverty (Targets, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill, the Scottish Government launched a consultation seeking views on which households should have an enhanced heating regime applied when calculating levels of fuel poverty.

Scottish Government Priorities, Plans & Targets

Housing and Regeneration Outcomes Framework - sets out the vision and outcomes for housing and regeneration and how it nationally enables the Scottish Government and external partners to adopt a shared understanding of what needs to be achieved for people, homes and communities across Scotland.

Affordable Housing Supply Programme - the Scottish Government aims to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes by 2021 backed by more than £3.3 billion. This target represents a 67% increase in affordable housing supply, and 35,000 of the 50,000 target will be for social rent.

Ending Homelessness and Rough Sleeping: Action Plan - the Plan sets the direction for real and lasting change towards ending homelessness. It will be led and overseen by the Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group, which is co-chaired by political leadership from both the Scottish Government and COSLA.

Race Equality Framework & Action Plan (2016 to 2030) - promotes race equality and the tackling of racism and inequality and in particular asks that local authorities consider the need of ethnic minority families for homes suitable for larger/extended family groups.

Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) - Scottish Social Housing Charter sets out the minimum energy efficiency ratings that landlords will be expected to meet across their housing stock.

Climate Change Plan: third report on proposals and policies 2018-2032 - sets out the path to a low carbon economy while helping to deliver sustainable economic growth and secure the wider benefits to a greener, fairer and healthier Scotland in 2032.

More Homes Division Guidance Note 2019/02 - Wheelchair accessible housing target - contains guidance for local authorities on the setting of LHS targets to support the delivery of more Wheelchair Accessible housing.

Fairer Scotland Action Plan - sets out the Scottish Government’s overall strategy for tackling poverty and inequality in Scotland.

The Fairer Scotland Duty - places a legal responsibility on the public sector to actively consider how they can reduce inequalities of outcome caused by socioeconomic disadvantage, when making strategic decisions.

Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) - all aspects of the housing system, from planning and building to nominations and allocations should be placed at the heart of decision making.

Every Child, Every Chance – The Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan - sets out new policies and proposals to help make strong progress towards targets set out in the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017.

Public Health Reform - a partnership between Scottish Government and COSLA which seeks to tackle a range of health inequalities. It aims to challenge current ways of working, put more decisions directly in the hands of citizens and provide support to local communities to develop their own approaches and solutions to local population health challenges.

National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes - apply across all integrated health and social care services, ensuring that Health Boards, Local Authorities and Integration Authorities are clear about their shared priorities by bringing together responsibility and accountability for their delivery. A Housing Advice Note for Integration Authorities, Health Boards and Local Authorities on their responsibilities to involve housing services in the Integration of Health and Social Care has been prepared.

Equally Safe strategy & Equally Safe Delivery Plan - coordinates efforts to tackle violence against women and girls, promotes gender equality and seeks to improve the local housing response to domestic abuse.

Age, Home and Community: A Strategy for Housing for Scotland’s Older People: 2012 – 2021 - contains a vision for housing and housing-related support for older people, the outcomes the government would like to achieve and a framework of actions.

Scottish Strategy for Autism Outcomes and Priorities 2018-2021 - highlights that housing has a major role to play in delivering positive outcomes for autistic people.

A Place to Stay, A Place to Call Home: a Strategy for the Private Rented Sector in Scotland - set out a vision for “a private rented sector that provides good quality homes and high management standards, inspires consumer confidence, and encourages growth through attracting increased investment”.

Achieving a Sustainable Future: Regeneration Strategy - responds to the challenges faced by the most disadvantaged communities to help create a Scotland where all places are sustainable, and where people want to live, work and invest. It sets out plans for delivering this vision in partnership with stakeholders.

Scottish Government Routemap - for an Energy Efficient Scotland sets out the journey our homes, businesses and public buildings will take to become more energy efficient. It will also guide the decisions that the Scottish Government will be making, with its partners, over the next 20 years.

Scottish Government Sustainable Housing Strategy - sets out the vision for warm, high quality, affordable, low carbon homes.


Email: lisa.bullen@gov.scot

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