Engagement plan from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025

Landlord name

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Publication date

02 April 2024

Why we are engaging with Dumfries and Galloway Council (Dumfries and Galloway) 

We are engaging with Dumfries and Galloway about its services for people who are homeless and its site for Gypsy/Travellers.  

The context in which local authorities are delivering services to people who are experiencing homelessness has become increasingly challenging in the last few years.  In our December 2023 update to our thematic report on homelessness services in Scotland we set out that there is a heightened risk of systemic failure in the delivery of some local authorities’ services to people experiencing homelessness.  By this we mean that there is a risk that the demands on some local authorities could shortly exceed their capacity to respond.  This is the case at Dumfries and Galloway.  We will continue to monitor, assess and report on Dumfries and Galloway’s performance in discharging its duties to people who are homeless. 

During 2023/24, we reviewed and compared the data for all local authorities from the Scottish Government’s national homelessness statistics.  We also spoke to all local authorities to gather further information and assurance about their homelessness services.  To assess the risks to people who are threatened with or experiencing homelessness we will engage with all local authorities during 2024/25 with a focus on the provision of appropriate temporary accommodation. 

We will engage with Dumfries and Galloway in particular about the following areas: 

  • how people access the homelessness services provided by Dumfries and Galloway;  
  • Dumfries and Galloway’s assessment of homelessness applications; and  
  • the provision of temporary accommodation by Dumfries and Galloway to people who are homeless. 

Dumfries and Galloway has told us it does not comply with the Scottish Government’s minimum site standards for its site for Gypsy/Travellers at Collin.  Dumfries and Galloway is unable to say when it will comply with minimum site standards.  It is engaging with site residents about this.    

What Dumfries and Galloway must do 

Dumfries and Galloway must: 

  • send us the information we require in relation to its homelessness service; 
  • continue best efforts to meet its statutory duty to provide temporary accommodation when it should and to comply with the Unsuitable Accommodation Order; 
  • keep us updated on its capacity to meet its statutory duty to provide temporary accommodation when it should and to comply with the Unsuitable Accommodation Order;  
  • send us an expected date of compliance with minimum site standards as soon as possible;  
  • send us quarterly reports from the end of April 2024 on its progress in meeting the minimum standards for its Gypsy/Traveller site; and  
  • continue to engage with site residents about progress in meeting the minimum site standards. 

What we will do 

We will: 

  • review the information Dumfries and Galloway provides about its homelessness service; 
  • meet with Dumfries and Galloway on a quarterly basis to discuss its homelessness service and engage as necessary;  
  • meet with Dumfries and Galloway to seek assurance about its best efforts to provide suitable temporary accommodation;  
  • monitor Dumfries and Galloway’s progress with meeting the minimum site standards and review our regulatory strategy in the light of this; and 
  • update our published engagement plan in the light of any material change to our planned engagement with Dumfries and Galloway. 

Regulatory returns  

Dumfries and Galloway must provide us with the following annual regulatory returns: 

  • Annual Assurance Statement; and  
  • Annual Return on the Charter. 

It should also notify us of any material changes to its Annual Assurance Statement, and any tenant and resident safety matter which has been reported to or is being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive or reports from regulatory or statutory authorities or insurance providers, relating to safety concerns.  

Our lead officer for Dumfries and Galloway Council is:

Lynn Sweeney

Regulation Manager