Call for written evidence on homelessness in Scotland

The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee has launched a call for written evidence on homelessness.

The Committee has been out on fact-finding visits and taken evidence on homelessness. Now the committee wants to find out the reasons why people can find themselves homeless or threatened with homelessness and what can be done to tackle this effectively.

Further information, including briefing papers, on the committee’s work to date, can be found here.

Organisations and individuals are invited to submit written evidence to the Committee setting out their views on homelessness, the reasons why people become homeless, what services are available and what can be done to help prevent homelessness.

It would be helpful if written submissions could address some or all of the following questions or any other issues you may wish to raise:

Housing Options and Homelessness Prevention

  • How do you feel housing options and homelessness prevention is working in practice? Are there examples of good practice?
  • How effective is the relationship between all the relevant agencies, including the health sector, and charities working on homelessness prevention?
  • What needs to happen to improve the delivery of housing options and homelessness prevention services and the outcomes achieved for service users?
  • What role should private sector housing providers play in preventing and responding to homelessness?

Temporary Accommodation

  • What evidence is there of pressure on temporary accommodation in your area? Has this increased in recent years?
  • How can homeless people’s experiences of temporary accommodation be improved? For example, how can the use of unsuitable accommodation be reduced or the length of time spent in temporary accommodation reduced?
  • Do you have concerns about the funding of temporary accommodation? If yes, how should temporary accommodation be funded?

Permanent Accommodation

  • How do social landlord’s allocation policies prioritise applications from homeless households and how does choice based lettings work in practice?

Multiple and Complex Needs

  • What more could be done to ensure that the needs of homeless people with multiple and complex needs are adequately supported? Are there examples of good practice?
  • What scope is there for improved joint working with all agencies and groups supporting those with multiple and complex needs, which would also include the health sector?
  • How can access to general health services, including preventative health services, be improved for homeless people?
  • What role could the “housing first” model play in improving outcomes for homeless people with multiple and complex needs?

Rough Sleeping

  • How has the pattern of rough sleeping changed in your area? For example, is the number of rough sleepers increasing or have the characteristics of rough sleepers changed? What are the reasons for this?
  • What type of accommodation is offered to rough sleepers?
  • What type of approaches can contribute to the reduction of rough sleeping and achievement of sustainable housing solutions for rough sleepers?


  • What are the reasons behind why people become homeless?
  • What data is used to measure homelessness numbers in a particular area?
  • Can you give examples of best practice of effective strategic coordination of services to ensure there are no gaps or overlaps in homelessness services?
  • Are there any problems with people accessing their housing and homelessness rights? If yes, how can access be improved?
  • What are the barriers to providing homeless people with sustainable housing solutions and how can these barriers be addressed?
  • Are there any other issues relating to homelessness which you wish to bring to the attention of the Committee?

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 14 June 2017.

Evidence submissions should be limited to no more than six pages of A4. Responses should be sent, wherever possible, electronically and in MS Word format to the following email address:

Before submitting your evidence please read the Parliament’s policy on treatment of written evidence by subject and mandatory committees (see below). Responses can also be sent by post to: Clerk to the Local Government and Communities Committee Office Room T3.60 Scottish Parliament Edinburgh EH99 1SP.

Written submissions will be made public on the Committee’s webpage. If you do not wish your response to be made public, please contact the clerks to discuss (you may wish to refer to the Parliament’s policy on handling information received in response to calls for evidence.

The Committee welcomes written evidence in English, Gaelic or any other language.

If you have any further questions regarding the Committee’s work on this inquiry, please contact the Committee clerking team at the above e-mail address or call 0131 348 6037.