Pet-friendly accommodation services

Thursday November 28th, 2019

Supporting people who are homeless and their pets.houses_8880129Sml

Pet owners facing homelessness are set to benefit from better support finding a home which allows them to keep their animals.
New guidance recommends that landlords and local authorities introduce:

  • temporary shelters with ‘dog friendly’ communal rooms
  • improved training for service staff in the importance and benefits of supporting people to remain with their pets and how to work with animals
  • risk assessments to ensure there are no issues with staff members being allergic to, or afraid of, animals
  • pet friendly policies that people sign and agree to in order to access accommodation

The guidance, developed by the homeless support service Simon Community on behalf of the Scottish Government, also includes information on existing services available.

To further support this, a new Homeless Pet Friendly Officer will work in partnership with the Dog’s Trust and Simon Community, helping landlords recognise the importance and value of pets to people experiencing homelessness.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:

“Pets offer comfort and stability and much-needed companionship. For someone facing homelessness it is already an extremely difficult time. Being forced to choose between their pets and a safe place to live is choice no one should have to make.

That’s why I’m glad to see the positive recommendations in this report. It clearly sets out why pets matter and provides practical steps to support social landlords in helping people experiencing homelessness to maintain their relationships with their pets.

A person centred approach is a key part of our ambition for delivering the Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan, and I’m clear that respecting people’s meaningful and important relationships with their pets is an important element of that.”

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