Engagement plan from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025

Landlord name

West Lothian Council

Publication date

02 April 2024

Why we are engaging with West Lothian Council (West Lothian) 

We are engaging with West Lothian about its services for people who are homeless and stock quality.  

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 West Lothian.  We will continue to monitor, assess and report on West Lothian’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 West Lothian in particular about the following areas:    

  • the provision of temporary accommodation by West Lothian to people who are homeless; and   
  • outcomes for people who are homeless. 

West Lothian has identified reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in some of its homes and other buildings.  It has told us it has a plan in place to manage any associated risks.  West Lothian continues to investigate the extent of RAAC in its homes and other buildings.   

What West Lothian must do 

West Lothian 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; 
  • conclude its investigation into the extent of RAAC in its homes and other buildings as quickly as possible, and confirm the outcome to us; and 
  • tell us if there are any material adverse issues which might affect its capacity to manage the risks associated with RAAC. 

What we will do 

We will: 

  • review the information West Lothian provides about its homelessness service;  
  • meet with West Lothian on a quarterly basis to discuss its homelessness service and engage as necessary;  
  • meet with West Lothian to seek assurance about its best efforts to provide suitable temporary accommodation; 
  • review any information West Lothian provides about RAAC in its homes and other buildings and engage as necessary; and 
  • update our published engagement plan in the light of any material change to our planned engagement with West Lothian.  

Regulatory returns  

West Lothian 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 West Lothian Council is:

Linda McKenna

Regulation Manager