Local Housing Strategy: guidance 2019

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

5. Engagement & Consultation

- Legislative Requirement

5.1 The 2001 Act requires that local authorities consult on their LHS, and the statutory Equality Duty on public bodies requires the involvement, consultation and engagement of as wide a range of local residents and tenants and communities of interest as possible.

- Effective Engagement & Consultation

5.2 The Scottish Government advocates that engagement is underpinned by a Human Rights Based Approach that is aligned with the Community Empowerment Act (2015) and locality planning.

5.3 Early engagement helps to ensure that people have a greater opportunity to have their say and influence the future of their communities, including the delivery of housing and housing related services. As a result, the LHS should be a robust strategy that reflects local need accurately and shows the influence that local people have had on the development of LHS priorities and outcomes.

5.4 Best Practice for public bodies for engagement with communities is set out in the seven National Standards for Community Engagement.

5.5 Local authorities may wish to consider Visioning Outcomes in Community Engagement (VOiCE) which has been developed and supported by the Scottish Government to implement the National Standards for Community Engagement. VOiCE is planning and recording software that assists individuals, organisations and partnerships to design and deliver effective community engagement.

5.6 The LHS should demonstrate how engagement and consultation:

  • Was undertaken early on in the LHS development process and how it has continued through its development and subsequent annual review;
  • Used a range of media to ensure as wide an audience as possible within local communities and from relevant representative groups including people with or who share protected characteristics;
  • Ensured, in an effort to end inequality, that the make-up of the local population is accurately reflected;
  • Recognised that some people’s views may not be readily heard through traditional engagement methods and provide evidence of how those less willing or able to engage, were given the opportunity to do so;
  • Has influenced the development of LHS priorities, outcomes and actions.

5.7 The LHS should set out which stakeholders have been consulted during the development of the LHS, with a web link provided to appropriate engagement/consultation strategy or supporting papers.

5.8 Local authorities are encouraged to continue to engage with stakeholders during the duration of the LHS to help inform progress and review LHS outcomes.

5.9 Some engagement will be through existing networks and working groups and be based on continuous dialogue and improvement, such as the Health and Social Care Partnership. Engagement could also be further strengthened with collaboration between the local Public Health Team and housing colleagues.

5.10 The Scottish Government strongly advocates a co-production approach to public services. It is a more inclusive process than standard consultation as it places people at the heart of the design and delivery of services. Involving people at the beginning of the LHS development process facilitates the empowerment of service users and frontline staff, allowing the strategy to be developed “with” and “by” people rather than “for” them. As outlined in guidance prepared by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, reasonable steps should be taken to involve people with all protected characteristics.

Areas the Scottish Government would expect to see addressed in each LHS:

a) A web-link to a copy of the EQIA and CRWIA.

b) A web-link to copies of any Health Impact Assessment or Equalities and Human Rights Impact Assessment.

c) Evidence of early engagement with a wide range of people and communities of interest that has helped inform the LHS development process, including the use of co-production, as appropriate.

d) Evidence of who and how people, in particular those who are harder to reach and people with, or who share protected characteristics, were given the opportunity to become involved and evidence that those engaged with were representative of the local population.

e) A summary explaining how the views of people/groups have helped to influence the development of LHS priorities and outcomes.


Email: lisa.bullen@gov.scot

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