Date lodged: 7 September 2017
To ask the Scottish Government (a) whether and (b) for what reason the (i) repairing standard, (ii) tolerable standard, (iii) Scottish housing quality standard and (iv) Scottish social housing charter applies to asylum accommodation in Scotland managed by Serco as part of its Compass contract with the Home Office.
Answered by: Kevin Stewart 21 September 2017
Provision of accommodation for asylum seekers is reserved by the Scotland Act 1998 to the UK Parliament. The tolerable standard applies to all housing in Scotland, other than mobile homes and temporary structures. The Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) applies to self-contained housing let under a secure tenancy. The repairing standard applies to housing let by a private landlord under an assured tenancy, under the new private residential tenancy introduced by the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016, and under some other types of tenancy.
The standard that would be provided for asylum accommodation in any particular case therefore depends on the whether the accommodation is owned by a private or registered social landlord. The Scottish Social Housing Charter sets the standards and outcomes that all social landlords should achieve for their tenants and other service users, and would apply if an asylum seeker received housing or services from a local authority or registered social landlord. The Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities has written to the UK Government to say that the Scottish Government believes that accommodation provided to asylum seekers in Scotland should meet SHQS.