Our Standards

The Comhairle’s Homelessness Service Team work to the following service standards...

  • We have published, and are following, an effective homelessness strategy for preventing and alleviating homelessness in our area that responds to current policy and legislative requirements. We monitor and review its implementation. We consult and collaborate across our own organisation and with other organisations in planning and delivering the strategy.
  • We ensure that people have full, fair and open access to our homeless services.
  • We work to prevent homelessness arising in the first place, and its recurrence when it has occurred.
  • We have a high-quality assessment process, based on relevant legislation and the Code of Guidance. We make good decisions and offer appropriate solutions when considering applications from people seeking help on the grounds that they are homeless or threatened with homelessness.
  • We work actively with other organisations, and within our own organisation, to ensure that the needs of homeless people are met appropriately and as quickly as possible.
  • We arrange free and effective information and advice services for homeless or potentially homeless people, based on the national standards for housing information and advice services.
  • We make it clear that people can appeal against any of our decisions. We deal fairly and effectively with appeals.
  • When we arrange temporary or permanent accommodation, we treat homeless people fairly and appropriately in terms of tenancy provisions, quality of housing and location. We provide temporary accommodation when needed and maximise the availability of suitable permanent accommodation for homeless people.
  • We comply with the terms of any contracts we have entered into, to fulfill our statutory homelessness duties.
  • Promoting equal opportunities to all homeless applicants

We also ensure that...

  • The Comhairle provides a service for homeless people 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • If you are homeless we will see you the day you present or the following day or at a time more convenient for you if preferred
  • If you have nowhere to stay that night and we cannot see you immediately or you present out of hours, we will arrange accommodation for you until the next working day when you will be seen.
  • Whenever possible, the same person will deal with your case from start to finish. You will be given the name of the person dealing with your case and be told how to contact them.
  • We will keep in touch with you to let you know how your case is progressing.
  • We will make sure that you are advised of your legal rights and are given information about where else to go for independent advice and help with your case.
  • If we can’t provide you with permanent social housing, we will give you advice and help to find other housing.
  • We will explain all decisions about your case and tell you how to appeal our decision if you disagree with it.
  • We will listen carefully to everything you tell us.
  • We will give you a written summary of the advice and information we give you.
  • We will treat you with respect and all information will be treated confidentially in accordance with Data Protection.
  • We will treat your concerns with understanding and sensitivity.
  • We will make sure that we deal with you as promised in these standards.
  • We will check regularly that our promises are being carried out
  • The Homelessness Service aims to provide an excellent service. However, even in the best-run organisations things sometimes go wrong.
  • If you are unhappy with the service provided to you and wish to make a complaint, please pick up a copy of the Comhairle’s Complaint Procedure leaflet or ask a member of staff for a copy.

Our Performance

The Comhairle’s homelessness standards and targets are illustrated in the tables below. In 2018-19 the Comhairle at least met 7 out of the 9 relevant targets.


Homeless Services Performance Figures: Initial Interview
Standard Type Actual 2018-2019 Actual 2019-2020 Target 2020-2021 Actual 2020-2021
Interview applicants within 1 working day (unless applicant specifies otherwise) CNES [1] 98% 98% 90% 100%


Homeless Services Performance Figures: Determinations
Standard Type Actual 2018-2019 Actual 2019-2020 Target 2020-2021 Actual 2020-2021
Applicants to be advised of homelessness decision within 28 days of interview SG [2] [3] 86% 92% 80% 94%
Reduction in number of Lost Contacts SHRIP 1.5% 0.6% 10% 0.6%
Percentage of homeless cases reassessed within 12 months of completion of duty SPI [4] 1.8% 4% n/a 4%


Homeless Services Performance Figures: Temporary Accommodation
Standard Type Actual 2018-2019 Actual 2019-2020 Target 2020-2021 Actual 2020-2021
Roofless applicants accommodated immediately if presenting out of hours SG 100% 100% 100% 100%
All applicants requiring temporary accommodation provided with it SG 100% 100% 100% 100%
Breaches of unsuitable accommodation order SG 0 0 0 0


Homeless Services Performance Figures : Permanent Accommodation
Standard Type Actual 2018-2019 Actual 2019-2020 Target 2020-2021 Actual 2020-2021
90 days to first offer CNES 30% 25% 25% 18%
Second offer within 90 days of first offer CNES 50% 57% 90% 60%
%age of priority need households housed SPI 60.5% 76% n/a 59%
Tenancy Sustainment for over 12 months CNES 98% 98.5 100% 100%


Homeless Services Performance Figures : Appeals
Standard Type Actual 2018-2019 Actual 2019-2020 Target 2020-2021 Actual 2020-2021
Appeal heard within 14 working days of receipt of appeal CNES - n/a 100% n/a
Applicant informed of decision within 3 working days of appeal CNES - n/a 100% n/a


Homeless Services Performance Figures : Complaints
Standard Type Actual 2018-2019 Actual 2019-2020 Target 2020-2021 Actual 2020-2021
Complainant advised of outcome within 21 days of receipt of complaint CNES - n/a 100% n/a

1 Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
2 Scottish Government
3 Scottish Housing Regulator Improvement Plan
4 Statutory Performance Indicator