2. Equality Statement
2.1 The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 requires an LHS to state how a local authority will comply with its duty under Section 106 of the Act. Section 106 states that local authorities must exercise the functions conferred on them by the Act in a manner which encourages equal opportunities and in particular the observance of the equal opportunity requirements. The equal opportunity requirements are set out in the Equality Act 2010, http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/legal-and-policy/key-legislatures/equality-act-2010
2.2 The Act introduced a statutory public sector duty to:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- Advance equality of opportunity
- Foster good relations
2.3 The statutory duty requires need to be considered in respect of certain protected characteristics:
- Sex (including Pregnancy and Maternity)
- Gender reassignment
- Sexual orientation
- Religion and Belief
2.4 Evidence of the people living locally and their likely needs will be available from the HNDA. This evidence should be used to inform the LHS, alongside other local evidence and intelligence.
Equality Impact Assessment
2.5 An Equality Impact Assessment ( EQIA) is required if people are affected by a policy or strategy, either directly or indirectly.
2.6 The EQIA process is not just about identifying and mitigating negative impacts, it is about proactively looking for opportunities to promote equality.
2.7 An EQIA should be started early in the development process, so it can help shape the LHS and it would be considered good practice to refer to the EQIA throughout the LHS, as appropriate.
2.8 The Scottish Government has produced guidance on mainstreaming equalities which is available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/topics/people/equality/18507/mainstreamingequalities
2.9 This LHS guidance has been subject to a full EQIA.