Date lodged: 21 April 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure that temporary accommodation is suitable for families with children.
Answered by: Kevin Stewart 3 May 2017
Households with children are placed in temporary accommodation while they wait for appropriate, sustainable permanent accommodation. We want time in temporary accommodation to be as short as possible. As most temporary accommodation is in social housing it should be at the same standard as for permanent accommodation.
In the latest figures, the vast majority (86%) of households with children or pregnant women were given temporary accommodation in social housing, with less than 1% placed in B&B accommodation and then for very short periods of time.
The Unsuitable Accommodation Order serves to ensure appropriate quality of temporary accommodation for families with children. We have strengthened the Unsuitable Accommodation Order to ensure accommodation is wind and watertight and we have plans to strengthen this further. We are committed to introducing a cap of one week, down from the current cap of 14 nights, for families with children and pregnant women living in B&B accommodation unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Scottish Government statutory guidance on the Best Interests of Children Facing Homelessness also makes clear to local authorities the importance of ensuring temporary accommodation for households with children is suitable. The Guidance highlights that full consideration should be given as to how children will be affected by moves between accommodation.