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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-06682: Gordon Lindhurst (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 27 January 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether temporary accommodation is a suitable housing provision for families with young children.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 3 February 2017

Temporary accommodation is a key part of the safety net of the homelessness legislation and ensures all people have accommodation if they become homeless.

Scotland’s strong statutory homelessness rights mean households with children are placed in temporary accommodation while they wait for appropriate, sustainable permanent accommodation. We want time in temporary accommodation to be as short as possible and we are increasing housing supply to help with this.

In the latest figures, the vast majority (86%) of households with children or pregnant women were given temporary accommodation in social housing and fewer than 1% placed in B&B accommodation and then for very short periods of time. The remaining households not in social housing or bed and breakfast are in hostels (3%), refuges (2%) and ‘other’ (8%), where other includes households in all other accommodation not owned by the local authority. This includes property leased by the local authority from other providers, such as private landlords.

As most temporary accommodation is in social housing it should be at the same standard as for permanent accommodation. We have strengthened the Unsuitable Accommodation Order to ensure accommodation is wind and watertight and we have plans to strengthen this further. We are committed to introducing a cap of one week, down from the current cap of 14 nights, for families with children and pregnant women living in B&B accommodation unless there are exceptional circumstances.