Effectiveness of homelessness legislation tackled by the Infrastructure Committee

10.10.2014

 

The impact of legislation that guarantees accommodation for people assessed as unintentionally homeless has been the focus of an inquiry by the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee.

 

he Committee has taken evidence from a number of organisations working in the field on the issue including charities, local authorities, support organisations and housing associations.

The Committee also recently heard from the Minister of Housing and Welfare, Margaret Burgess MSP on how the legislation was operating, including the impact on current levels of homelessness, how it is affecting decisions on assessing people as intentionally homeless, housing support options that are available and the effect of recent welfare reforms.

Convener of the Committee, Maureen Watt MSP said:

“There is universal agreement that homelessness has no place in today’s society. Our Committee has heard that Scotland has taken the lead in implementing some of the most progressive legislation in Europe to tackle homelessness

“However, this Committee wanted to find out how effective the legislation has been on the ground in tackling homelessness and the impact of abolishing priority need. We have heard that it has had a broadly positive impact and we are keen to explore how this can be built upon and good practice shared across Scotland.

“Our Committee now plans to write to the Scottish Government to outline our findings and make recommendations after hearing from those dealing with this issue on the ground.”

The Committee’s letter to the Scottish Government is expected to be published in November.

Background

The Committee previously undertook an inquiry on the 2012 homelessness commitment, which is a legal commitment that those assessed as homeless are entitled to accommodation, and this inquiry has examined the progress of the implementation process.

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