The Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland has welcomed a government consultation on temporary accommodation standards but states that more “adequate support” is needed for local authorities to meet new obligations.
Opening on the 22nd May, the consolation sets to ensure that consistent high-quality standards are applied across all temporary accommodation.
The Scottish Government have also said that they want to understand how they can extend the Unsuitable Accommodation Order to all homeless households.
CIH Scotland highlights the consultations proposals to extend the Unsuitable Accommodation Order (UAO), which puts a seven-day limit on the time that households can spend in ‘unsuitable’ accommodation, to all households.
The UAO is said to currently only apply to pregnant women and households with children.
They also suggested that advisory minimum standards for temporary accommodation should be introduced, followed by mandatory standards at a later date.
Ashley Campbell, Policy and Practice manager at CIH Scotland said: “We absolutely support measures to improve the condition of temporary accommodation and want to see a move towards better minimum standards of housing across all tenures, regardless of how long a household might be staying there.
“Poor housing can make a difficult situation much worse and we need to make sure that everyone can access decent accommodation when they need it.
“We also agree that standards shouldn’t be just about the physical condition of the property. Temporary homes need to be located close to schools, employment, family or other networks so that if a household loses their home, they can maintain some continuity in other aspects of their life.”
He added: “However, local authorities will need time and resources to make changes to the way that temporary accommodation is used and to ensure alternatives are in place if needed.
“Local Authorities have already committed to reducing the use of temporary accommodation with actions set out in their five-year Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans.
“We would like to see timescales for any changes aligned as far as possible with these existing plans.”