FOI Request - Temporary Homeless Accommodation Charges

Request 101002653805

I request the following information in relation to Moray Council's use of its powers under s35(2) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 to make reasonable charges for temporary homeless accommodation:
1.   Does the Council use the power under s35(2) to charge homeless people for temporary accommodation?

2.  Does the Council hold any policies or internal guidance documents relating to charges for temporary accommodation, including on what constitutes a ‘reasonable’ charge in relation to s35(2) and para 8.84 of the Scottish Government’s Code of Guidance on homelessness? If so, what is the content of the policies or guidance?

3.   If the Council has charged homeless people for temporary accommodation, please provide information on the following for the past calendar year:                        
o   How many people were charged.
o   The total income received by the Council from any charges.
o   How many people paid such charges directly to the Council, rather than via charges taken directly from Universal Credit or other social security entitlements.

4.      What, if any, is the total outstanding debt owed to the Council for temporary accommodation charges currently owed?

Response 15-01-2021

1.   Yes.  

2.  Our temporary accommodation charging policy is published on the Council’s website and is therefore exempt under section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 ‘otherwise accessible’. For ease of reference please find a link to the web page here.

3.   a)   In accordance with section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) 2002 please be advised that data is only available for the number of rent accounts that were created since 1 January 2020 -  291.  This may not necessarily represent the number of people/households.

b)   In accordance with section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) 2002 please be advised that data is only available to November 2020 - £569,030.44.   

c)   To provide the requested information would require manual examination of individual transactions on each rent account affected. Unfortunately we are therefore unable to comply with this part of your request in accordance with section 12 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) 2002 ‘excessive cost’.

4.      At 16 December 2020, current temporary accommodation arrears are £22,199.99.

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