Why we are engaging with West Lothian Council (West Lothian)
We are engaging with West Lothian about its services for people who are homeless.
During 2022/23 we reviewed and compared the data for all local authorities from the Scottish Government’s national homelessness statistics and the Annual Returns on the Charter. 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 2023/24 with a focus on the provision of appropriate temporary accommodation.
We will engage with West Lothian in particular about the following areas:
- how people access the homelessness services provided by West Lothian;
- West Lothian’s assessment of homelessness applications;
- the provision of temporary accommodation by West Lothian to people who are homeless; and
- outcomes for people who are homeless.
What West Lothian must do
West Lothian must:
- provide us with the information we require in relation to its homelessness service; and
- make us aware of any emerging issues preventing it from fulfilling its statutory duty to provide temporary accommodation when it should and comply with the Unsuitable Accommodation Order.
What we will do
- review the information West Lothian provides about its homelessness service;
- meet with West Lothian to discuss its homelessness service and decide whether we require any additional assurance;
- meet with West Lothian to seek assurance if it does not provide temporary accommodation when it should, or if it breaches the Unsuitable Accommodation Order; and
- update our published engagement plan in the light of any material change to our planned engagement with West Lothian.
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.