HOUSING Minister Keith Brown today underlined the need for good quality temporary accommodation for homeless families.
Recent official statistics show a marked reduction in the numbers of children in temporary accommodation, down by 18 per cent in 2011 to 5,259.
Homelessness charity, Shelter Scotland and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) have published guidance on standards in temporary accommodation.
The Minister, who pointed to the vast majority of temporary accommodation in Scotland as being of a high quality, urged both organisations to get round the table with the Scottish Housing Regulator and councils to discuss how best to use the guidance.
Mr Brown also praised local authorities for implementing the housing options approach to prevention, which has seen reductions in the use of temporary accommodation, particularly bed and breakfasts.
Keith Brown said: “The vast majority of temporary accommodation in Scotland is of a high quality. There is no evidence of poor quality accommodation being routinely used across Scotland. However, the Scottish Government and local authorities are not complacent on this issue.
“The Scottish Government, local authorities and stakeholders such as Shelter all share the desire to ensure appropriate minimum standards in temporary accommodation are being met.
“The guidance published by Shelter and CIH offers useful pointers for local authorities when considering the provision of temporary accommodation.
“Through the activities of the Scottish Housing Regulator and the fact that we have had an Unsuitable Accommodation Order since 2004, which is enshrined in law and covers the least suitable forms of temporary accommodation for children and pregnant women, progress is being made. Breaches of this stringent order are very unusual.
“Local authorities such as North Ayrshire have also embraced the housing options approach to prevention, which has seen reductions in the use of temporary accommodation, particularly the case with the use of bed and breakfasts.”