Open - The Scottish Government

THURSDAY 28 MARCH 2013 10.30 - 12.30
Jim Hayton, ALACHO (Chair)
Audrey McGuinness, North Lanarkshire Council
David Ogilvie, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
Fiona King, Shelter Scotland
Ken Milroy, Aberdeen Foyer
Lewis Hannah, Highland Council
Robert Aldridge, Homeless Action Scotland
Susan Shone, Chartered Institute of Housing
Val Holtom, South Lanarkshire Council
Yvette Burgess, Housing Support Enabling Unit
Stephen White, Scottish Government
Marion Gibbs, Scottish Government
Matt Howarth, Scottish Government (Secretariat)
Alex McGhie, Scottish Government (Secretariat)
1. Introduction and Apologies
An apology was received from Steven Caddis, North Ayrshire Council.
2. Chair’s Opening Remarks
JH outlined the Group’s remit and purpose of the meeting, and explained the
processes for drafting Guidance and submitting comments.
3. Background to the Housing Support Regulations
MG provided the Scottish Government policy background on the housing support
duty and regulations underpinning the Guidance.
4. Remit , Workplan, Membership and Timetable
The Group approved the proposed remit, workplan and timetable.
5. The Regulations – what should be in Guidance?
Key points raised noted below:
Assessment/’Reason to Believe’ applicant requires support
Helpful for Guidance to clearly define ‘reason to believe…’ to prevent rationing
out at assessment stage, particularly where budgets are tight (RA)
Important that assessments are effective – RSLs have expressed concern
that some people who are being referred have greater support needs than
provisioned for. (YB) However this was set in the context that budgets were
tight and even though this was what RSLs experienced it was no different for
others being rehoused.
Where people are refusing support, important to clarify point at which local
authorities have fulfilled their duties. Important to be clear why someone is
refusing support and what they are refusing in order to explore the support
being provided to see if it could be tailored to better meet the needs of the
household. (YB)
Right to Review is already set out in the legislation (MG) as the section
introducing the duty is caught in the provisions for right to review. Important
to highlight this in Guidance (RA).
Welfare Reform
Guidance should be set out in the context of Welfare Reform (DO)
Shelter and others are pursuing exemption for Temporary Accommodation on
Social Sector Size Criteria (FK). Minister aware and SG to send letter to Lord
Freud at end of this week. Letter emphasises differences between temporary
accommodation provision in Scotland and England (MG)
Reduced resources already impacting on prevention activity. Maintaining
services while managing Housing Support process will be challenging (VH)
Roles of Other Agencies
Regulations A&B cover the involvement of other agencies, in particular Health
and Social Work. Useful to explain in Guidance the role these agencies can
play in assessment process.(VH)
Are we integrating with Scottish Housing Regulator on implementation? (RA)
Regulator aware but unlikely to provide input (MG)
Has there been dialogue with Care Commission? (KM). CC involved at
consultation stage and Group can invite them to input again at this stage
Housing Options & Prevention
Guidance should cover relationship to Housing Options and context of
homelessness prevention (RA).
Housing Support Duty should also underpin prevention work.
consistency across all LAs but no need for LAs to calibrate. (FK)
Prevention of Homelessness Guidance contains statement on joint working
which could be used for Housing Support Guidance (SS)
Other Issues
Important to focus on what is manageable in Guidance given short timescale,
and take forward some of the bigger issues (e.g. Welfare Reform, agency
interactions issues) at appropriate time (SW)
Given context and implementation date for duty, important to collate good
practice to provide best guidance possible in timescale. Guidance could
potentially be a working document with future revisions. (FK)
Group broadly supportive of holding a second meeting.
Partners suggested for contributions to Guidance: Health, Social Work
(ADSW), GWSF, SOLACE, Housing Co-ordination Group. JH to contact all
LAs and SHBVN.
Important to ensure that web-based Guidance is disseminated to all relevant
partners (SS)
Homeless Action Scotland to feed back summary of Housing Support
workshop from 18 April conference (RA)
6. Chairs Summary and Next Steps (5 mins)
JH thanked the Group for attending and reminded the Group of the deadline for
submitting written comments.
7. A.O.B. (5 mins)
No other business was raised.