Reflections on Rapid Rehousing

June 2018 and the Rapid Rehousing national market analysis and Rapid Rehousing Guidance was published. For the first half of 2018, Indigo House had been advising the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) on its ambitions to achieve Rapid Rehousing within 5 years – that is to minimise the time homeless people are living in temporary accommodation and move into settled homes as quickly as possible.

Our independent conclusions to achieve Rapid Rehousing within a 5-year timescale were that, on average across Scotland, social and private lets to homeless households would have to increase by 45% to achieve HARSAG’s ambition. But in higher pressured areas – specifically in Edinburgh and much of south east Scotland – the data indicated it will be difficult, if not impossible to achieve in 5 years, while in lower pressured areas it should be feasible.

Our advice was that Rapid Rehousing will only be achieved with the strongest focus on prevention and extended duties across community planning partners, focusing on housing support with collaborative working and resources from health and social care partners to identify and address the early triggers of homelessness, and continuing to increase supply in the pressured areas.

One year on, our review of Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans show:

√ Housing First is part of the plan

√ Increasing focus on prevention

√ Locally agreed targets for maximum time in temporary accommodation

√ Greater use of the PRS and prevention of homelessness from PRS

√ Increasing supply

? More buy in and resources from Health and Social Care Partnerships

? Achieve Rapid Rehousing within 5 years

It is clear that transition has started, and systems are changing, particularly in relation to Housing First. But Housing First is only a small part of the picture, and for some local authorities we predict it will take longer than 5 years to achieve Rapid Rehousing due to massive housing pressure, even crisis in some areas. Based on our assessment a year ago, this should be no surprise to Scottish Ministers, and it is the local authorities that are struggling the most to achieve Rapid Rehousing that require the greatest support from Scottish Government.

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