Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans sub-group minutes: May 2022
- Local Government and Housing Directorate
- Part of
Minutes of the Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans sub-group meeting, held in May 2022.
Attendees and apologies
In attendance (virtually via Microsoft Teams call)
John Mills, ALACHO (Chair)
Jordan Manning, East Hub Rep
Graeme Gardner, North and Islands Hub Rep
Jacqueline Fernie, West Hub Rep
Andrea Elliot, South West Hub Rep
Lynsey Dey, Tayside, Fife & Central Hub Rep
Ewan Aitken, Cyrenians
Tim Pogson, Scotland’s Housing Network (SHN)
Yvette Burgess, Housing Support Enabling Unit (HSEU)
Eileen McMullan, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA)
Ruth Robin, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
Marion Gibbs, Scottish Government
Janine Kellett- Scottish Government
Kevin Wilkie, Scottish Government
Brian Finch, Scottish Government
Katy Burns, Scottish Government (minute taker)
Gary Fairley, Director of Finance, Midlothian Council
Maggie Brunjes, Homeless Network Scotland (HNS)
Mike Callaghan, COSLA
Anne Malarkey, HSCP
David Kemp, East Hub Rep
Allan Jones, North and Islands Hub Rep
Janeine Barret, South West Hub Rep
Items and actions
1. Introductions, Minute and Actions
Chair welcomed Jordan Manning and Graeme Gardner who represented the East and North and Island Hubs respectively.
Minutes of 15 February meeting were cleared.
- RRTP (15/2)- Action 1- SG to redraft RRTP annual report/ Activity and Spend template in light of Sub-Group comments.
- SG have redrafted RRTP annual report in light of feedback from Sub-Group and is now published. Redraft was taken to HPSG on 17 March. Updated Activity and Spend template has been cleared by the group and distributed to LAs.
- RRTP (15/2)- Action 2- SG to organise an RRTP Coordinators event at the end of April to include EQIA masterclass, and will explore possibility of a hybrid meeting.
- RRTP Coordinators event took place online only on 3 May 2022 which included an EQIA masterclass. Provide an update at agenda item 6.
- RRTP (16/5)- Action 2- Hub representatives to check with their respective hubs on whether they would be content to share the Activity and Spend returns with Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
Healthcare Improvement Scotland confirmed funding limitations have delayed this action. Action closed with permission of Chair. Potential to be revisited in August following next iteration of Activity and Spend returns.
2. Scottish Government RRTP Update
RRTP – Annual Report 2020/21
Following feedback from members and HPSG, the RRTP Annual report was published on the SG website on 5 May:
Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans Annual Report: 2020-21
Prevention of Homelessness Duties Consultation
Currently tendering for an independent contractor with the aim to publish an analysis of responses to the consultation by the end of September 2022.
Continue to engage with stakeholders to develop the planned legislation with the intention of including new duties as part of the Housing Bill to be introduced to the Scottish Parliament in 2023.
Unsuitable Accommodation Order (UAO)
Data returned in relation to the UAO will be returned on a quarterly basis. June’s return asks for additional information on the number of Ukrainian and Afghan households in unsuitable accommodation that is in breach of the Order. This information will help SG understand the impact refugee/displaced persons programmes on LAs’ supply of TA and compliance with the UAO.
SG is working with COSLA and LAs re the different visa routes into Scotland. There is a potential impact on homelessness services for LAs; this will be monitored via UAO monitoring.
Afghan Resettlement Programmes
SG is in contact with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on the development of a refusals policy and about how homelessness services may be accessed after an Afghan household refuses two reasonable offers and then has 56 days in the bridging hotel to find alternative accommodation (PRS). If that is not achieved then the household may make a homelessness application. SG are discussing various options with the UKG and COSLA to reach a position which is practical for Scotland.
SG continues to engage with LAS on a regular basis to capture the impact of the Ukrainian refugee programme on homelessness services. SG remains committed to introducing the changes to local connection. No date has yet been agreed for when this SSI will be laid.
Temporary Accommodation Standards Framework Working Group
The working group originally anticipated producing tangible processes by mid-2022, however, Scotland’s response to the invasion of Ukraine has delayed this.
Cyrenians sought clarity about when Public Health Measures will be lifted with regard to people with No Resource to Public Funds. SG advised this is a reserved matter however there will be no date set, and no formal notification to order the ending of accommodating people on public health grounds, each LA should seek their own legal advice.
ACTION 1: Request for each HO Hub to provide an update on the impact of Afghan and Ukrainian households on homelessness services as part of next meeting’s roundtable updates.
3. Roundtable Updates
All of the Housing Options Hubs provided a written summary in advance of the meeting. The Chair invited updates by exception, and welcomed any further written updates to be shared on eRDM Connect.
Tayside, Fife and Central Hub highlighted continued pressures around recruitment and increased numbers of homelessness applications from people with complex needs.
West Hub highlighted considerable housing demand in Glasgow, with all hub areas focusing on HF.
North and Islands Hub have committed to a stable agenda item at meetings around Trauma Informed Practice.
SHN progressing with Private Rented Sector Homelessness Forum who have met on two occasions.
HSEU confirmed work is underway around Housing Benefit (HB) changes and exempt accommodation. Issues around recruitment in social care, impact of differential pay rates for housing staff.
SFHA promoted their annual conference in June which will have a RRTP and HF session to increase awareness with housing associations. Also working with HSEU around housing benefits and supported exempt accommodation.
Cyrenians stated they are in contact with Ministers to encourage a debate around a public health approach to prevention.
Healthcare Improvement Scotland are carrying out work around HL1 data with Public Health Scotland colleagues to gain clarity on data available to take forward the Andrew Waugh report to make data more accessible. Developing pathways to gain insight into customer journeys through homelessness services, informed by Hard Edges, to tell story of service utilisation.
ALACHO updated the group on the Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court Judgement. Resulted in all tenants in Fife who were in LA provided TA being given a Scottish Secure Tenancy (SSTs). Scottish short secure tenancies are used to provide TA, positive experience and an accelerator to rapid rehousing in Fife.
4. RRTP Progress Indicators
Aim to have an outcome framework for the EHT Action Plan, this work is being
co-ordinated by HNS will feed into the Task & Finish group for HPSG. Proposing to the Cabinet Secretary that Task & Finish group be amalgamated with Chartered Institute of Housing RRTP monitoring group.
Feedback from the RRTP Co-ordinators event monitoring workshop was welcomed by SHN, recognised that a frustration for other sectors is that the reports developed on a Housing Options Hub basis and owned by LAs are not published.
Cyrenians suggested there is a need for RRTP benchmarking to ensure consistency which takes into account local context. SG confirmed that RRTP Activity and Spend templates have been amended to capture outcomes and impact to support the development of the next RRTP progress report.
5. Domestic Abuse Pathways and RRTPs
Chair confirmed that he has had discussions with the SG regarding the Domestic Abuse (DA) Pathway and RRTP recommendations. Propose on behalf of SG and COSLA to make this a specific priority of RRTPs in 2022/23.
Seeking feedback from members to consider what changes are required and how to get engagement across LAs, RSLs and other partners to reduce homelessness for women and families experiencing DA.
Following the Women’s Health Initiative report on lived experience of DA in Fife, the Council adopted a partnership policy which has been mainstreamed. Resulted in 17% reduction in presentation from this group.
Tayside, Fife and Central representative confirmed that Angus Council have adopted a policy based on the CIH guidance. Promotes sharing what good practice looks like so that landlords can see what it means for them. Number of applications due to DA could perhaps be included in a progress indicator for RRTPs, as there isn’t currently a HL1 indicator to record this specifically.
North and Islands Hub representative confirmed that Aberdeen City have introduced a DA policy based on the pathway.
Chair highlighted Almond Vale Housing Association in Livingston as a good example of a proactive approach. Recognised that there is a need for discussion around joined up adoption of policy and to bring it back into focus for HO Hubs and RSLs. Members were content with this approach.
ACTION 2: Homelessness Unit to organise a national event to promote Domestic Abuse Pathways as a priority for RRTPs.
ACTION 3: Agenda item to be included at August meeting to discuss gendered analysis of RRTPs.
6. RRTP Coordinators and Leads event
The latest RRTP Coordinators event took place on 3 May 2022, representatives from 29 local authorities in attendance.
The agenda included presentations on the prevention duties consultation and Glasgow HSCPs Housing First Mental Health Test of Change pilot.
HNS lead an EQIA masterclass with a view to helping LAs understand the importance of how an EQIA supports policy development, where evidence can be found and how an EQIA can be beneficial for future iterations of their RRTP. SG committed to including a regular slot on equalities at future events.
A RRTP monitoring discussion considered how LAs used current reports produced by SHN, and possible developments to the reports going forwards.
HNS, the Change Team and Glasgow Homelessness Involvement and Feedback Team provided an overview of how lived experience can support local authorities with the development of RRTPs. Falkirk Council gave a presentation on how they have engaged with lived experience locally to provide a real life example to LAs.
ACTION 4: Homelessness Unit to arrange meeting with SHN to discuss feedback from monitoring report, to provide update at August meeting.
7. Housing First
Housing First Monitoring
The quarter four monitoring report was published on 17 May. This report is the first to include tenancies which have started across all 24 local authorities who are currently delivering a Housing First programme.
As the number of tenancies increases, the SG recognises that they are able to report in more detail on the experience of each participant within Housing First.
SG are beginning to see a fuller picture with regards to areas such as sexual orientation and disability characteristics, with less ‘Don’t know’ and ‘Prefer not to say’ responses, likely due to the development of relationships with support staff.
Housing First Check-up Process
Work around adhering to fidelity of HF principles has been carried out on a Hub basis. HNS are drafting reports for each LA individually for discussion as part of the next stage of the process.
Next meeting: 16 August 2022
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