From 29th November 2022, the rules allowing local authorities to refer people experiencing homelessness to another local authority in Scotland on the basis of local connection have been suspended. This means that when a person makes a homelessness application a local authority cannot refuse to accommodate them because they have no local connection to the area.
Clan Childlaw supports this rule change as it removes a barrier to accommodation and support which disproportionately impacted children and young people. It means that children and young people will now have more choice over where they live and where they access support. This is important because, in our experience, children and young people are typically more mobile and less settled geographically than older people. Young people often become homeless after they are asked to leave the family home. As they seek to establish themselves, it is common for them to choose to move to a different geographic area. For example, we often see young people moving to stay with friends in a large city to remove themselves from a difficult situation. For this reason, young people are more likely to experience homelessness in an area where they may not meet the criteria for local connection. When young people are allowed choice over where they live, they are more likely to feel settled and supported and are less likely to fall back into homelessness.
This rule change is something that Clan Childlaw has supported from the start and we are extremely pleased that it is now been brought into effect. However, it is important to note that these changes are not permanent and the effect of the suspension will be closely monitored by the Scottish Government to see how it impacts local authority spending and rates of homelessness.
Find out more
For more information visit: More choice for people experiencing homelessness (www.gov.scot)