Unsuitable Accommodation Order extended to end of September

Unsuitable Accommodation Order extended to end of September

Housing secretary Shona Robison

Temporary measures to protect people experiencing homelessness from coronavirus have been extended for three months.

The Unsuitable Accommodation Order, which came into power in 2014, has protected pregnant women and families with children who are homeless from being accommodated in hotels or B&B accommodation for more than seven days.

The 2019 Programme for Government committed to extend this protection to all households, with legislation laid in May 2020. In light of the public health emergency, the legislation included temporary exceptions allowing councils to use hotels and B&Bs, but only in areas where the pandemic has impacted on the supply of accommodation and where it is the only option local authorities have to protect people.

Due to expire on June 30, these exceptions have now been extended to September 30.

Housing secretary Shona Robison said: “Our priority throughout this pandemic has been to keep people safe from COVID-19. Temporary accommodation such as hotels and B&Bs can offer an important emergency safety net for anyone who finds themselves homeless, but it should be just that: temporary.

“We are doing all we can to ensure that people experiencing homelessness are not housed in unsuitable accommodation for any longer than is necessary. However, it is crucial that we help local authorities to keep people safe during the pandemic. We are extending these measures while the path of the pandemic remains uncertain, and will keep the situation under review. We will continue to work with councils to ensure they are supporting people from temporary accommodation into permanent settled accommodation.

“Scotland has led the way across the UK with almost 100,000 affordable homes delivered since 2007. As we set out in our Housing to 2040 strategy, we are working to build a Scotland where everyone has a warm, safe and affordable home, and have set a target of delivering a further 100,000 affordable homes by 2032, with 70% of these for social rent. We are also investing more than £30 million to support councils to prioritise settled accommodation for all.”

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