The Committee continued to scrutinise the actions of the Scottish Government in its response to the COVID-19 public health emergency in areas within our remit, and in its support for the local government and voluntary sectors. We also aimed to provide a forum to share good practice in addressing the challenges the emergency raises. As part of this work we looked at actions taken by local government, housing, planning and communities sectors.

The Committee met remotely during the  period of lockdown. You can read the Papers, Official Reports and Minutes of its Covid-19 related meetings here:

Timetable of meetings

Friday 15 May 2020
COVID-19: evidence session
Links to:  papers  minutes  Official Report

Thursday 28 May 2020
Homelessness and COVID-19: evidence session
Links to:  papers  minutes  Official report

Wednesday 03 June 2020
Local Authorities and COVID-19: evidence session
Links to:  papers  minutes  Official report

Friday 26 June 2020
The Third Sector and COVID-19: evidence session
Links to:  papers  minutes  Official report

Friday 14 August
Homelessness and COVID-19: evidence session
Links to:  papers  minutes  Official report



Regular updates from the Scottish Government on the Local Government and Communities Sector’s response to COVID-19

Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill

COSLA Update

 Please read an update from COSLA around the essential work that Local Government across Scotland is undertaking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.    

COVID-19 and Homelessness

Local Authorities

The Committee wrote to all 32 Local Authorities seeking clarification on how they are managing business continuity in general and specifically in relation to planning and licensing in light of recent developments. 

The Committee sought views from planning stakeholders, such as whether it will have a negative effect on the planning system or whether it amounts to a proportionate and practical temporary response to the emergency. Please read the response from Planning Democracy.

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance wrote to the Convener in response to evidence session the Committee held on 3 June 2020 in which the issue of additional funding for local government was raised.

The Convener wrote to COSLA to draw their attention to the correspondence the Committee received from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance.

Budget scrutiny – guidance to subject committees

Empty Homes in Scotland

Guidance on moving home in Scotland during the COVID-19 outbreak

Green Recovery and Housing


The Scottish Refugee Council wrote to the Convener regarding homelessness affecting refugees and the need for safe transition and recovery out of COVID-19

Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Amendment (Coronavirus) Order 2020

Independent Children’s Rights Impact Assessment on the Response to Covid-19 in Scotland

No One Left Behind - Delivery Plan  

Non-Domestic Rates Revaluation 

Remote Committee meetings

The Committee agreed to write to the Presiding Officer regarding the possibility of holding future hybrid meetings for the Committee. (Hybrid: meetings where some members are physically present and others take part remotely)

Short Term Lets: COVID-19 and future regulation

Third Sector Resilience Fund 

The Committee agreed to write to SCVO, Firstport, Social Investment Scotland, Corra Foundation and to each Third Sector Interface (TSI) regarding what measures the Scottish Government have in place to ensure the fund is reaching third sector organisations. 

Read responses from TSIs and joint submission from  SCVO, Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and Corra Foundation here

Summary of written submissions

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) has produced the following summary of the written submissions received: 

Read letter from Scottish Charity Regulator following the evidence session on 26 June 2020 with TSIs

Scottish Government’s Advisory Group on Economic Recovery 

Scottish Housing Regulator

Subordinate Legislation

COVID-19 and Emergency SSIs

Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2020

Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Amendment (Coronavirus) Order 2021

Homeless Persons (Suspension of Referrals Between Local Authorities) (Scotland) Order 2021 

Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Amendment (No 2) Order 2020

Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) (Modification and Revocation) (Coronavirus) 2021 Order

Town and Country Planning (Miscellaneous Temporary Modifications) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/124) 

Valuation (Postponement of Revaluation) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Order 2020 

The committee solicited views from stakeholders as to the Valuation (Postponement of Revaluation) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Order 2020 which sought to move back the revaluation date in the light of the pandemic. Read the responses below: 

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