Date lodged: 24 March 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what approach it is taking to tackle (a) homelessness and (b) rough sleeping.
Answered by: Kevin Stewart 18 April 2017
With strong statutory rights to housing for homeless households, we are focusing with local authorities and partners on preventing homelessness before it occurs. We are continuing to fund five local authority led Housing Options Hubs across Scotland to promote prevention activity. This approach will be strengthened further with the development of a housing options training toolkit for local authority officers enabling a consistency of the housing options approach across Scotland.
The national focus is through the Scottish Government and COSLA’s Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group. Its membership involves a range of stakeholders at a national level who meet to develop policy and promote practice in tackling and preventing homelessness and rough sleeping.
This Group’s priorities include working to address homelessness for people with more complex needs, including those who may be sleeping rough, which involves working with partners such as health. Another priority is improving the provision of temporary accommodation, which is a statutory duty for local authorities, against the background of the UK Government’s welfare reform agenda which is reducing the funding available for temporary accommodation.