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Using the private rented sector to house homeless people

This half-day conference was held jointly by Shelter and COSLA, with the support of Orchard & Shipman plc and the Scottish Government, in Edinburgh on 23 February 2010.

The event was an opportunity to discuss new regulations under Section 32A of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987. The regulations went live on 25 February 2010 and allow local authorities, for the first time, to discharge their duty to homeless households by providing a short assured tenancy in the private rented sector, subject to a number of conditions on tenancy length, support, affordability and consent.

The event was chaired by Councillor Harry McGuigan, COSLA spokesperson for Community Wellbeing and Safety. In the first session Gavin Corbett, Head of Policy at Shelter Scotland, talked about the background to the regulations and why they are needed. Gavin was followed by Jim Anderson, Policy Advisor in the Scottish Government’s Homelessness Team, who explained the detail of the regulations and how they might be implemented by local authorities.

The second session focused on getting the regulations to work in practice. Cathie Fancy, Group Manager, Housing Strategy and Services, Scottish Borders Council, began the session, giving a local authority perspective. John Blackwood, Director of the Scottish Association of Landlords, talked about the role of private landlords in making the regulations work. Andrew Morrison, Director of Policy & Development at Orchard & Shipman plc, looked at the potential of the regulations for partnership working between private landlords and local authorities.

You can download their presentations here:

Private renting and homelessness
Gavin Corbett, Head of Policy, Shelter Scotland

The Homeless Persons (Provision of Non-permanent Accommodation (Scotland) Regulations 2010
Jim Anderson, Policy Advisor, Homelessness Team, The Scottish Government

Making Section 32A work?
Cathie Fancy, Group Manager, Housing Strategy & Services, Scottish Borders Council

Getting the regulations to work in practice
Andrew Morrison, Director of Policy & Business Development, Orchard & Shipman plc