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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04110: McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 28 October 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the potential impact of reductions in local government budgets on the provision of housing for people affected by domestic abuse.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 11 November 2016

The Scottish Government has treated local government fairly despite the cuts to the Scottish Budget from the UK Government and is providing local government with a funding settlement of over £10.3 billion in 2016-17. There are 461 refuge spaces in Scotland.

The homelessness legislation also provides a strong statutory safety net so that women and children seeking to leave an abusive perpetrator are supported into temporary accommodation immediately and then moved on to appropriate settled accommodation or, if safe, back into their original home. Housing options are continuing to develop through the Scottish Government funded local authority led housing options hubs. This work focuses on the prevention of homelessness and ensuring that people have access to good quality housing advice which should help women and children experiencing domestic abuse in accessing relevant legal mechanisms.

In March 2016 the Scottish Government published enhanced Housing Options Guidance, which recognised that those removing themselves from domestic abuse situations will have particular needs and recommended that Housing Options Services should ensure that appropriate plans, liaison and referral arrangements are in place. A national training toolkit is being developed which will cover issues of domestic abuse and how this should be addressed through housing and homelessness provision.