The Scottish executive must give councils flexibility as they work
towards the abolition of priority housing need by 2012, according
to charity Shelter Scotland.
In its response to the executive’s review of the Homelessness Etc
(Scotland) Act 2003, Shelter praises the progress made in
broadening the number of groups councils have to class as
unintentionally homeless, and which have a right to permanent
Legislation has rationed access to housing by ranking homeless
people’s need for housing. The upshot is that councils have to
determine whether a homeless household has a priority need.
But the abolition of the priority need test will bring a duty on
councils to provide permanent accommodation to all people assessed
as unintentionally homeless.
Legislation introduced under the act in January reduced to 14 days
the length of time councils can keep families in temporary homes.
Councils have been less enthusiastic, however. They have complained
that the legislation was introduced too quickly and that it
diverted resources from other groups because they did not have
enough housing stock.
Shelter has consequently recommended that the executive should
introduce more flexibility when developing the next set of
regulations under the act.
Shelter Scotland’s head of campaigns, Gavin Corbett, said a key
challenge was to ensure there were enough houses to meet the
The deadline for consultation responses is 14 October. From