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Section 5 homelessness referrals

Shelter's seminar on the use of Section 5 referrals on 31 January 2006 in Glasgow, was attended by over 100 practitioners from across the housing sector. The event is summarised below and you can also download PDFs of the presentations that were delivered on the day.


The morning plenary session explored the policy context of Section 5 referrals. Gavin Corbett, Policy Manager, of Shelter Scotland provided an overview of Shelter's recently published practice briefing Maximising the Use and Effectiveness of Section 5 Homelessness Referrals , drawing on legislation, guidance and describing examples of good practice in translating these into the referral process. Michael Cameron, Acting Head of Inspections, at Communities Scotland described the practice issues that have arisen in relation to the use of Section 5 referrals by councils and registered social landlords (RSLs). Michael also gave a useful insight into how Communities Scotland assesses the referral process in individual organisations:

Maximising the use of Section 5 referrals
Gavin Corbett, Policy Manager, Shelter Scotland

Section 5 in practice
Michael Cameron, Acting Head of Inspections, Communities Scotland


The afternoon's speeches focussed on the use of Section 5 referrals by organisations to make accommodation available to homeless people. Catherine Jamieson, Head of the Homelessness Partnership in Glasgow provided a fascinating overview of how the challenges thrown up for the Section 5 process in the context of stock transfer are being tackled in the city. Liz Burns, Policy and Practice Officer, from the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations presented research findings on how RSLs are working with local authorities to meet their obligations to house homeless people:

Section 5 issues in relation to stock transfer
Catherine Jamieson, Head of the Homelessness Partnership, Glasgow City Council

Section 5 referrals: extending or limiting choice?
Liz Burns, Policy Officer, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations


The day also included four workshops that were run in morning and afternoon sessions. The workshops covered the following topics:

Section 5 arbitration
Wilson Lees, Clackmannanshire Council

Section 5: developing local frameworks
John Falconer, West Dunbartonshire Council

Section 5: refusals and rejections
Craig Dunlop, Shelter Scotland

Section 5 referrals and allocations issues
Paul Cartwright, City of Edinburgh Council & Gill MacKay, Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association

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