All references are to the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001

Section 3

· amends section 24 (definition of 'homelesssness/threatened with homelessness') to include accommodation which is not permanent where duty to accommodate under section 31(2) exists and where homelessness will occur within 2 months (previously 28 days).

· amends section 29(1) (interim duty to accommodation) so that there is no requirement to have a 'priority need' in order to obtain interim accommodation while enquiries are carried out (into the application as homeless under Part II, 1987 Act).

· amends section 31 (duties to persons found to be homeless) - so that the duty becomes the securing of 'permanent accommodation'.

· amends section 32 (duties to persons threatened with homelessness) - so that accommodation available to occupy must be 'reasonable for the applicant to occupy' and 'must meet any special need of the applicant and any other person referred to in section 24(2)'.

 

Section 4

· amends section 29 (interim duty to accommodate) - provision of interim accommodation while section 35A review being carried out.

· amends section 30 (notification of decision and reasons) - to notify applicant of his/her right to request an internal review under section 35A.

· introduces new section 35A - which places the internal local authority review of decisions under Part II of the 1987 Act on a statutory basis. Key features: review to be requested within 21 days of decision (or longer period if the local authority agrees); review to be undertaken by senior member of staff with no prior involvement in the decision; and review decision to be issued in writing.

 

Section 5

· introduces new statutory procedure whereby a local authority (with a duty to accommodation a homeless applicant) can request 'registered social landlord' (housing associations) to accommodate that person.

 

Section 6

· introduces a system of arbitration where a local authority and RSL cannot reach agreement under section 5; the cost of arbitration is to be shared equally; and section 6 makes provision for the Scottish Ministers to issue guidance as to the procedure to be followed at an arbitration.