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1 February, 2021 Open access

Scottish Government publishes guidance on local authority duties under the Unsuitable Accommodation Order

Guidance covers extension of seven day limit on unsuitable temporary accommodation to cover all homeless applicants and delayed implementation due to Covid-19

The Scottish Government has published guidance on local authority duties under the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014 (the 2014 Order).

 In the foreword to the new guidance, the Scottish Government advises -

‘The Programme for Government announced on 3 September 2019 that the Scottish Government would legislate to extend [the 2014 Order] to all homeless households this parliamentary year and that it would come into force in this parliamentary term. The extension means that the maximum number of days that local authorities can use unsuitable accommodation for any homeless person is seven days and has the effect of ending stays in unsuitable accommodation, such as B&Bs, apart from in emergency situations.’

Highlighting that the extension of the 2014 Order (that formerly only applied to families with children and pregnant women) was legislated for on 5 May 2020 by the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2020 (SSI.No.139/2020), but has been suspended since then due to the impact and repercussions to the housing and homelessness system of the ongoing pandemic (most recently by SSI.No.10/2021), the Scottish Government sets out advice for local authorities on how the scheme should operate, including -

Guidance for the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order is available from gov.scot