The Scottish Housing Regulator today published a statement which updates its thematic report on homelessness services in Scotland that it published in February 2023.
In February, the Regulator highlighted that some councils were finding it increasingly difficult to fully meet their statutory duties on homelessness, particularly providing temporary accommodation to people experiencing homelessness.
The report further highlighted that councils are making considerable efforts in very challenging circumstances to deliver effective services but that there was an emerging risk of systemic failure in their homelessness services.
The statement published today concludes that this risk has materialised in some councils and that there is now systemic failure in the delivery of homelessness services in some areas of Scotland.
Michael Cameron, Chief Executive, said:
“In February we said that councils faced strategic challenges and a risk of systemic failure in meeting the demand for suitable temporary accommodation and ensuring sufficient access to permanent housing.
“Our statement today follows the Scottish Government’s release of annual homelessness statistics in August 2023, our review of the Annual Assurance Statements submitted to us by all councils by the end of October 2023 and our on-going engagement with councils.
“Our judgement is that the demands on some councils now exceed their capacity to respond and in others it soon will. We therefore take the view that there is systemic failure in the delivery of services to people experiencing homelessness in some local authorities and an immediate risk in others.
“All councils should continue best efforts to respond to the challenges and meet their statutory obligations. We will engage with the councils which we believe are experiencing systemic failure. And we are ready to work with the Scottish Government and other stakeholders to identify and implement actions that will address the acute issues in temporary and permanent accommodation for people who are homeless.”
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 seven 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.