Prevent roaming –

Opinions requested on the legal obligations proposed for public bodies.

Health and welfare services, children’s services, police and other public bodies will have a legal obligation to ‘ask and act’ to prevent homelessness under Scottish Government proposals .

The measures would be part of new laws to prevent homelessness, based on recommendations from a panel of experts convened by the Crisis charity at the request of the Scottish government. They would represent the biggest change to Scottish homelessness law in almost a decade.

Public bodies would have a legal obligation to identify anyone at risk of becoming homeless and to act on their own or to refer to more appropriate help.

A consultation on the plans, conducted jointly with COSLA, will give homeless people, alongside those in the housing sector, public bodies and others, the opportunity to share their views and help shape the Scottish approach prevention of homelessness.

Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said:

“We know the best way to end homelessness is to prevent it from happening in the first place. These new proposals build on the strong housing rights that already exist in Scotland for people who become homeless. Early action should be a shared public responsibility, giving people experiencing homelessness more choice and control over where they live.

“Homelessness is often a traumatic and disturbing experience that can have a profound impact on the lives of those affected, including children.

“By intervening at an earlier stage and encouraging services to work together to meet people’s needs, we can ensure that fewer individuals and families have to rebuild lives affected by homelessness. This will add to our ambitious existing work and investment program to ensure that everyone has a safe and warm place to feel at home. “

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive Officer of Crisis, said:

“We strongly support the plans for new obligations for public bodies to prevent homelessness in Scotland.

“Scotland has made tremendous strides on its journey to end homelessness in recent years, but although the country has powerful protections for people who are homeless, far too many people are forced to reach a point. crisis before they get the help they need.

“Everyone has a role to play in preventing homelessness, and by introducing new obligations requiring public services to inquire about a person’s housing situation and offer them the help they need, we can build a truly world-leading homelessness prevention system. ”

Councilor Kelly Parry, COSLA spokesperson for community well-being, said:

“People have a right to a place where they can feel at home. Sleeping on the streets and surfing on a couch is something we have always strived to eliminate. We welcome the proposal that the obligation to end homelessness will be shared with other public bodies and look forward to being closely involved in the consultation with other partners ”.


Consultation on homelessness prevention duties (the link will be posted on Sunday 00.01)

Closing on March 31, 2022

The Scottish Government is investing £ 53.5million to help councils and partners prioritize housing for all, through the implementation of rapid transition plans for rehousing and scaling up Housing First for those facing the greatest challenges.

In September 2017, the Prime Minister made a new commitment to end sleep on the streets, transform the use of temporary housing in Scotland and end homelessness. Ministers subsequently created the Homelessness and Restless Sleep Action Group to make recommendations on how these changes could be made.

Following a recommendation from the Homelessness and Restless Sleep Action Group to create new tasks to prevent homelessness, the Prevention Review Group was created. The Preventing Homelessness in Scotland final report was published in early 2021 and provides the framework for this consultation document.

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