Briefing paper on the Homelessness Task Force Second Report
By: Shelter Scotland Published: March 2002
This paper sets out the key recommendations made by the Homelessness Task Force second report, particularly those intended to change practice in homelessness service provision in Scotland.
- Briefing paper on the Homelessness Task Force Second Report (PDF 115.8 KB)
The Scottish Executive established the Homelessness Task Force in 1999 to 'review the nature and causes of homelessness, and make recommendations for change'. The Task Force's first report, published in 2000, formed the basis of the changes to homelessness legislation included in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001. The second report was a landmark report, which made 59 recommendations for change to the law and to practice over the next ten years.
Shelter fully supports the work of the Homelessness Task Force but we are also aware that it is only now that the real work needs to begin.
The Task Force Report at a glance
The report recommends changing the law to: end the priority need test for homeless applicants over a period of ten years; suspend the local connection test; make sure that some form of accommodation and support is available for intentionally homeless people.
Improved support is proposed for young people leaving care and for ex-offenders, ex-armed forces employees and refugees.
Emphasis is placed on the importance of preventing homelessness in the first place; looking at reducing evictions in the social rented sector and improving communication about potential evictions in the private sector.
The report recommends a shared responsibility towards homelessness provision within a service culture which minimises 'gate-keeping' and emphasises support. There is a particularly strong emphasis on health care, but also on the role of information and advice and resettlement services.
Some increases in the availability of affordable accommodation are recommended, in order to meet shortfalls in certain areas and in certain types of accommodation.
The report examines aspects of the social security system which impact on homeless people, and recommends ending some of the anomalies, and investigating new ways to support homeless people through work and training.
The Task Force recommends the establishment of a 'monitoring group' to comment and advise on implementation of the report's proposals.