Homeless Service Standards for Temporary Accommodation dated January 2018

The request was successful.

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

This document sets out the requirements that have to be met for temporary accommodation offered to homeless people. It is dated January 2018 and operates from that date. Please provide the following information relating to this document:

1) What training have officers in the Homeless Service had which covers the contents of this document?

2) Have all officers in the Homeless Service had training in this document's contents?

3) How is it that the provisions of this document are not being met in relation to certain properties? For example, a flat with damp and black mould on bedroom walls was allocated to someone in December 2018. This not not comply with the provisions of the section under Physical Standards, or Scottish Housing Quality Standards.

4) Why is it that there is no attempt to comply with the section which states accommodation must, "Meet the physical or sensory disability requirements of any member of the household"? What training and awareness do officers have of their duty under this and The Equality Act 2010?

5) Gas Safety Certificates are a legal necessity for properties with gas appliances and it states that these must be provided. How is it that properties are let and people not supplied with a Gas Safety Certificate for them? This happened to someone on 3 occasions. Are officers trained in the need to provide such certificates? Why don't they comply with this? What checks are made to ensure this is adhered to?

6) Electrical Safety Certificates are not supplied to people similarly. Are officers aware of the need to supply these and why do they fail to do so? What checks are made to see this is being met? Who is responsible for ensuring these provisions are being met?

7) Management Standards states that a Tenant Handbook for the property will be provided. Why is it that someone never received one for any property at all? What training do officers have about this and why do they fail to comply with it? What checks are made to ensure this is being adhered to and who does these?

The information requested above is sought for the period January 2018 to 31 January 2019.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Page

Dumfries and Galloway Council

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FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Dumfries and Galloway Council

Please find below the Council's response to your request 390916 which was received on 18/02/2019.

Details of request: This document sets out the requirements that have to be met for temporary accommodation offered to homeless people. It is dated January 2018 and operates from that date. Please provide the following information relating to this document:

1) What training have officers in the Homeless Service had which covers the contents of this document?

2) Have all officers in the Homeless Service had training in this document's contents?

3) How is it that the provisions of this document are not being met in relation to certain properties? For example, a flat with damp and black mould on bedroom walls was allocated to someone in December 2018. This not not comply with the provisions of the section under Physical Standards, or Scottish Housing Quality Standards.

4) Why is it that there is no attempt to comply with the section which states accommodation must, "Meet the physical or sensory disability requirements of any member of the household"? What training and awareness do officers have of their duty under this and The Equality Act 2010?

5) Gas Safety Certificates are a legal necessity for properties with gas appliances and it states that these must be provided. How is it that properties are let and people not supplied with a Gas Safety Certificate for them? This happened to someone on 3 occasions. Are officers trained in the need to provide such certificates? Why don't they comply with this? What checks are made to ensure this is adhered to?

6) Electrical Safety Certificates are not supplied to people similarly. Are officers aware of the need to supply these and why do they fail to do so? What checks are made to see this is being met? Who is responsible for ensuring these provisions are being met?

7) Management Standards states that a Tenant Handbook for the property will be provided. Why is it that someone never received one for any property at all? What training do officers have about this and why do they fail to comply with it? What checks are made to ensure this is being adhered to and who does these?

The information requested above is sought for the period January 2018 to 31 January 2019.

Response:

(Q1) The Temporary Accommodation Policy has been disseminated to relevant staff and has been discussed and reviewed at regular team meetings. Supervisors and Management provide guidance to staff where necessary.

(Q2) As per Q1

(Q3) This document is relevant to all properties within our Temporary Accommodation portfolio managed by Dumfries & Galloway Council. We are currently reviewing our temporary accommodation portfolio and work is underway to implement the newly agreed standards across all properties.

(Q4) Dumfries & Galloway homeless service do try and meet the needs of every client however, we can only offer what we have available and it is not always possible to meet all the needs of each client. Diversity and Equality training is mandatory for all staff within the Service to develop the knowledge and skills they require to consider and promote equality. Staff recognise the general duty for their role, and how, in doing their role, they are expected to take equality matters into consideration and protect people in society who are most vulnerable to discrimination. Refresher training in Diversity and Equality is also available via on line learning for all staff.

(Q5) The required Statutory Checks are carried out at each void period to ensure heating systems are fully functional and in safe working order. Gas servicing is carried out on a yearly basis. As these properties are temporary accommodation occupied on a short-term basis these certificates are held by Dumfries & Galloway Council. Processes are being reviewed to allow us to provide clients with a copy of these certificates as part of our book in process. Relevant staff will be provided with appropriate training in the new procedure.

(Q6) Electrical safety checks are carried out at each void period. As these properties are temporary accommodation occupied on a short-term basis these certificates are held by Dumfries & Galloway Council. Processes are being reviewed to allow us to provide clients with a copy of these certificates as part of our book in process. Relevant staff will be provided with appropriate training in the new procedure.

(Q7) We are currently reviewing our temporary accommodation portfolio and work is underway to implement the newly agreed standards across all properties.

Please be aware that the Council holds the copyright, where applicable, for the information provided and it may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material not being used in a misleading context. The source of the material must be acknowledged as Dumfries and Galloway Council and the title of the document must be included when being reproduced as part of another publication or service.

If you require any further clarification, please contact us. However, if you are not satisfied with the way in which your request has been dealt with, you can request us to carry out an internal review of the decision by emailing [email address] or writing to us within 40 working days of receiving this response.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, you have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision. Appeals to the Commissioner can be made online at www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal or in writing to: The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS.

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

Thank you for your response dated 13 March 2019.

The information you have provided gives more evidence of the false statements and misconduct on the part of a certain senior individual in the Homeless Service. This will be very useful for impending legal action.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Page

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