The Scottish Housing Regulator will take account of the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic when it assesses local authorities’ performance in complying with new requirements on temporary accommodation.
New changes introduced by the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2020 mean that local authorities must not place any household experiencing homelessness in accommodation deemed unsuitable for more than seven days. Until now the requirement only applied to families with children and pregnant women. The Order includes exemptions permitting the use of Bed and Breakfasts and hotels during the pandemic.
The Regulator monitors, assesses and reports on social landlords’ performance, including how local authorities deliver homelessness services and how local authorities and RSLs work together to provide homes for people who need them.
Ian Brennan, Director of Regulation said: “Local authorities are facing unprecedented challenges in delivering services to people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. We appreciate the work they are doing with registered social landlords and third sector partners to protect and support some of the most vulnerable people at this time.
“It is important that local authorities provide temporary accommodation which meets peoples’ needs and is of an appropriate quality. We recognise the impact of the pandemic on the availability of temporary and permanent housing, and we will take account of that when we assess the performance of social landlords.”
SHR has postponed all but the most critical regulatory engagements to allow landlords and SHR to focus on the most serious existing risks or those that emerge from the pandemic.
Notes to editors
- The Scottish Housing Regulator was established on 1 April 2011 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. Its objective is to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and others who use local authority and RSL housing services. The Regulator operates independently of Scottish Ministers and is accountable directly to the Scottish Parliament. It assumed its full regulatory responsibilities on 1 April 2012. The Regulator consists of the Chair and eight Board members. More information about the Regulator can be found on its website at housingregulator.gov.scot
- SHR sets out how it regulates social landlords in its published framework – Regulation of Social Housing in Scotland.