New Housing Options guidance published

Harry McGuigan
Harry McGuigan

New guidance has been issued to support the development of Housing Options approaches in Scotland’s local authorities.

Housing Options is a person centred and preventative approach which looks at an individual’s options and choices in the widest sense. This approach features early intervention and explores all possible tenure options.

Published by the Scottish Government and COSLA, the guidance sets out the principles on which any effective Housing Options service should be based as well as the outcomes it should aim to achieve.

It was developed in consultation with, SOLACE, SFHA, ALACHO, Shelter Scotland and Homeless Action Scotland as members of HPSG. The Housing Options Guidance Group was also joined by seven local authorities: Highland; North Ayrshire; North Lanarkshire; Perth and Kinross; Renfrewshire; Falkirk; and South Lanarkshire Councils as well as Scotland’s Housing Network.

Minister for housing and welfare, Margaret Burgess, said: “I would like to thank all members of HPSG and the Housing Options Guidance Group for their joint work, partnership approach and determination in bringing this guidance to fruition. I very much welcome this and believe this guidance will be an invaluable tool for all local authority staff, including elected members. It also presents an opportunity to influence the culture of the whole organisation, not solely that of Housing Services.

“The guidance has been enhanced further by the development of a training toolkit, which aims to complement and support much of the content. I would like to thank West of Scotland’s Housing Options Hub for its unwavering commitment in pioneering such an invaluable tool and to the remaining Housing Options Hubs: South-West Hub; Tayside, Central and Fife Hub; East Hub; and North Hub for supporting and contributing to its development.”

Cllr Harry McGuigan, COSLA spokesperson for community well being, said: “I am very pleased to welcome this important guidance on Housing Options which I hope will drive improvement in delivery across all local authorities in Scotland. Housing Options is about looking at an individual’s options and choices in the widest sense and may involve exploring all possible tenure options. It can also cover other aspects of an individual’s circumstance that may not be housing related but could impinge upon that individual’s options in terms of access to housing which meets their needs.”

He added: “How Housing Options is delivered may differ from one local authority area to another, reflecting local circumstances, but in every area it should follow common core principles and practices. This guidance is intended to reinforce those principles and effective practices and embed them across all levels in local authorities. I am very happy to commend this guidance to all local authorities, whom I hope will use it and the Training Toolkit to develop and improve the effectiveness and outcomes of their delivery of Housing Options.”

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