Recommendations and Conclusion
The EQIA concludes that the Action Plan will have an overall positive affect on equality groups. By increasing affordable housing provision in remote, rural and island communities, this will disproportionately have a positive impact on local people noted above who would otherwise struggle to meet their housing needs, whether due to age, disability, race or socio-economic background. The increase in affordable housing provision will also indirectly positively affect the protected characteristics of sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and religion or belief. This is due to the increased housing options available to local people in remote, rural and island communities with any protected characteristic, as well as supporting community-led development and place-based living, both of which will promote good relations.
The Minister for Housing will chair an annual summit on the progress of the Action Plan, commencing in Autumn 2024. As part of our engagement with stakeholders on the delivery of the Action Plan, we will aim to explore the effects of the actions on inequality based on protected characteristics, where it is appropriate to do so.
Additionally, Local Housing Strategy guidance states that the Scottish Government expects local authorities’ Local Housing Strategies to demonstrate how it supports equality and addresses inequality. Local authorities must undertake a full Equalities Impact Assessment as part of the LHS process. This is reiterated in the recent Strategic Housing Investment Plan guidance. Local authorities must also give due consideration to the Fairer Scotland Duty assessment as part of the LHS process. Any new policy or legislation resulting from the actions in the Action Plan will undertake a separate EQIA at the appropriate stage of policy development.
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