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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-09059: Graham Simpson (Central Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 27 April 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what percentage of its affordable housing target will be homes for homeless people.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 9 May 2017

The responsibility for the allocation of housing in the social rented sector lies with the local authority or housing association concerned. In law social housing landlords are required to give reasonable preference, or priority, to people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. Social landlords must allocate housing based on an assessment of an applicant’s housing needs against its allocation policy and within the legal framework.

While it is for the landlords to decide who is allocated any particular house, an overall increase in a landlord’s social housing stock will enable the landlord to house more applicants in need of social housing. We as a Government are working hard to do just that. We have committed to delivery of 35,000 social rented homes over this Parliamentary term, a 75% increase on our previous social housing target which we not only achieved but exceeded. These sit within our wider 50,000 affordable homes target, to which we have pledged over £3 billion of funding.

The number of social rented homes within each local authority area over the current target period will depend on the priorities of local authorities as identified in their Housing Need and Demand Assessments (HNDA), Local Housing Strategies (LHS) and Strategic Housing Investment Plans (SHIPs).

Local authorities are required by law to prepare an LHS, supported by an assessment of housing need and demand. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 places a statutory duty on each local authority to carry out an assessment of homelessness in its area and to prepare and submit to Ministers, a strategy (as part of the LHS) for the prevention and alleviation of homelessness.