Date lodged: 15 February 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what approach it is taking to support children and young people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
Answered by: Kevin Stewart 1 March 2017
The Scottish Government has ensured strong legal rights to housing and support for homeless households with children. This is backed by statutory guidance for local authorities published by the Scottish Government on meeting the Best Interests of Children Facing Homelessness.
The Scottish Government has strengthened the Unsuitable Accommodation Order relating to the use of temporary accommodation for homeless households with children and pregnant women and we plan to strengthen this further.
Strong rights to housing also exist for young people (16-24) assessed as homeless, unlike the rest of the UK. The Scottish Government provides funding to a range of voluntary organisations that work with young people to prevent homelessness, including those supporting mediation services to address family breakdown, the main reason for homelessness amongst young people in Scotland.
We are also continuing to provide funding to local authorities to develop the housing options approach to prevention. This will be further strengthened by the development of a training toolkit for local authorities and their partners later this year, which will include addressing homelessness amongst families with children, looked after children and young people.