Scotland’s Housing Network to study homelessness prevention among north and islands RSL’s



A homelessness prevention project is under way to investigate ways to improve the performance of section 11 notices in the north and islands of Scotland.

Whenever a landlord raises proceedings to end a tenancy, by law they must serve to the relevant local authority a section 11 notice, to allow the local authority the opportunity to prevent the tenant being made homeless.

According to Scotland’s Housing Network (SHN) data, in 2017/8, only 12% of those notices resulted in homelessness being prevented.

The SHN-led project, which is being funded by the North and Islands Homelessness and Housing Options Hub, is exploring whether different approaches might lead to fewer tenants losing their homes.

Three factors which might help lead to homelessness being prevented, more helpful information being shared with the local authority, the information being shared earlier in the repossession process and the local authority working more closely with the landlord on preventing homelessness, are of particular focus to the project.

Lewis Hannah, housing and homeless service manager with Highland Council and North and Islands Hub Lead, said: “Prevention is the best approach to ending homelessness. If we can learn what changes to our systems and our practices would enable more vulnerable tenants to remain in their own homes, rather than facing the uncertainty of homelessness, that has to be a positive outcome for all concerned.”

SHN is working on the project with four local authorities, Highland, Aberdeen City, Shetland Islands councils and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, and housing associations across the region, including Albyn, Grampian, Langstane, Lochaber, Hjaltland and Hebridean Housing Partnership, as well as the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA).

The six month project commenced in February and will be followed by an evaluation exercise. It is hoped that the lessons learned will be made available to the wider sector through a guidance document.

To be kept informed of the outcomes of the project, please contact tim.pogson@scotlandshousingnetwork.org.



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