The first ever guidance on standards in temporary accommodation is to be published by Shelter Scotland and CIH Scotland in November.
The aim of the guidance is to provide local authorities and other temporary accommodation providers with a benchmark to aim for in terms of the quality, location and management of properties being let.
The guidance, which is advisory rather than statutory, has drawn on the experience of staff managing temporary accommodation and the views of people who have lived – or are currently living – in temporary housing. It is to be launched at a conference in Dunfermline on 17 November.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, said:
“Due to a severe shortage of permanent affordable homes, the number of households living in temporary accommodation is continuing to increase. Temporary accommodation is no substitute for a permanent home, but we recognise that there is a need to do more to ensure people’s experience of it is more positive. We want to see local authorities and other temporary accommodation providers adopt our standards to ensure a consistent level of housing and service for these households.
“These benchmark standards would also help prepare people to become responsible tenants when they are given a permanent home and help prevent them falling into a repeat cycle of homelessness.”
David Bookbinder, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at CIH Scotland, said:
“The main aim of the guidance is to support local authorities in making appropriate lets in terms of factors such as location, and then in managing lets sensitively. Feedback suggests that in some cases there isn't as much contact as there should be with households in temporary accommodation, which can leave people feeling confused and insecure at an already very difficult time for them.
“The guidance isn’t intended to be overly prescriptive, as there will always be a need for flexibility and an element of compromise in managing temporary accommodation, but we believe it fills an important gap, should help drive up standards where that's needed and ensure more consistency across Scotland.”
The guidance is being kindly sponsored by the Link Group, which has recently won the tender to operate Edinburgh Council's private sector leasing scheme to provide temporary accommodation for homeless households.
Shelter Scotland and CIH Scotland will launch their guidance on temporary accommodation standards on 17 November at a Temporary Accommodation Conference at the Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline. To book your place, go to http://www.cih.org/scotland/conferences/
Notes to Editors:
1. Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity. Shelter Scotland believes that everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
2. Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.
3. For more information about Shelter Scotland visit www.shelter.org.uk
4. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/shelterinscotland
Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland
5. CIH Scotland makes representations to government and related agencies on behalf of housing professionals and provides a wide range of qualifications and training. Contact: David Bookbinder on 07950 684153.