Homelessness Policy - Provision of Temporary and Settled Accommodation
The Council does not consider temporary accommodation to be an alternative to having a permanent home and will ensure that time spent in temporary accommodation is as short as possible. However it is recognised that customers may need access to temporary accommodation:-
- while the Council carries out a full investigation into their homelessness and /or;
- where the Council has assessed that it has a duty to secure accommodation for a household, but has not been able to make an offer of housing.
Where possible, the Council will take into account the wishes of the customer, when arranging temporary accommodation although this will be influenced by the availability of temporary accommodation. The Council will ensure that:-
- accommodation is appropriate to the needs of the customer and their household; and
- customers are advised of their right to refuse an offer of temporary accommodation and of the procedure for requesting a review of the decision to offer a particular property.
The Council will seek to minimise bed and breakfast usage for temporary accommodation and will comply with the requirements of The Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2004 that concerns families with dependent children. Bed and breakfast accommodation for families with dependent children will only be used in an emergency or if there is no other suitable temporary accommodation.
All properties rented by the Council will have all necessary licenses and registrations in place.
All temporary accommodation and furnishings provided by the Council will be of a reasonable standard of repair and will comply with fire safety regulations etc. The Council will inspect all temporary accommodation provided on a regular basis. Any damage caused wilfully, accidentally or negligently by the customer, anyone living with a customer or an invited visitor to the customer’s temporary accommodation will be recharged to the customer.
Once a customer is placed in temporary accommodation the Council will ensure that contact is maintained, moves to alternative temporary accommodation are kept to a minimum and assistance will be given with health and education registration.
Customers provided with temporary accommodation will be responsible for the payment of any rent and service charges that apply to the property for the duration of their occupancy. This responsibility extends to the completion of forms required in order to claim any benefits associated with the payment of the rent or service charges. Where requested, assistance to complete forms will be provided.
The Council will work proactively with customers to manage any arrears accrued. However, continued failure by a customer to make regular payments or to engage with the Council, may result in them being asked to leave the temporary accommodation provided to them. This will not change the Council’s duties to provide permanent accommodation.
The Council expects that everyone should be able to have quiet enjoyment of their accommodation, without being abused or harassed or subject to noise or other nuisance caused by those around them. Any complaints of antisocial behaviour in temporary accommodation will be investigated. The Council will work proactively with customers to address and tackle antisocial behaviour. However, if the customer does not engage with the Council, it may result in them being asked to leave the accommodation. This will not change the Council’s duties to provide permanent accommodation.
Protection of belongings and storage
Where a customer is unable to do so themselves, the Council has a duty to protect the property of those who it believes may be homeless and who have been provided with temporary accommodation. If there are any moveable possessions that cannot be taken into temporary accommodation, and no other suitable arrangements can be made, then the Council will arrange storage for the possessions.
Any removals and storage of belongings will be arranged with private companies and recharged to the customer. A repayment plan for the total amount of removals and storage will be agreed with the customer.
When the Council’s duty to provide temporary accommodation ends its duty to protect belongings also ends. The Council will inform the customer of this when they are initially provided with temporary accommodation.
If the possessions of a customer leaving temporary accommodation are not claimed, the Council will continue to store them for a maximum of six months and the cost recharged. Thereafter, unclaimed possessions will be disposed of by sale (or to a charity where the money likely to be raised will not offset the costs of the sale).
Housing and Property
Emergency Out of Hours