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Innovation funding to help prevent homelessness

04/09/2006

Eight new homelessness prevention projects, developed local authorities and their partners, are to receive £230,000 in funding from the Executive's Innovation Fund.

They cover a range of different issues and it is intended that areas across Scotland will be able to learn from the experiences of new ways of tackling homelessness.

The projects are:

  1. The Forth Valley Street Sport initiative for women in Clackmannanshire
  2. An access to accommodation and skills for prison leavers scheme across Tayside
  3. A multi-agency training project in East Dunbartonshire
  4. A CAB Rent Arrears Scheme in East Lothian
  5. The development of a Domestic Abuse Resource pack in East Lothian
  6. The Safe as Houses project in Edinburgh
  7. An anger management project in Falkirk
  8. A housing and employment project in Glasgow

The announcement of was made as Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm during a visit to Alloa to meet with those involved with Forth Valley Street Sport's previous initiative working with homeless men in Clackmannanshire.

Mr Chisholm said:

"Innovative approaches to helping people with their specific difficulties can assist in preventing homelessness.

"We were keen to support new projects not already funded within the existing preventative measures being undertaken as part of local authorities' homelessness strategies.

"These projects have at their heart issues which are often a cause of why people can be homeless. It is not enough to ensure accommodation is provided.

"Many people experience times in their lives where they may have financial, mental health or family problems and these can impact on their ability to stay where they live or keep their home.

"These projects identify some important issues and will use new approaches to help people tackle these so that they get the help and support they may need in order to rebuild their lives.

"These projects are of course not the only work being done to prevent homelessness in Scotland and I would like to take the opportunity of this announcement today to commend all those in local authorities, voluntary organisations, public services and communities for their on-going efforts to provide accommodation and help people to avoid homelessness."

Clackmannanshire Provost Derek Stewart said:

"I am delighted that Clackmannanshire has been successful in securing a share of the Innovation Fund to tackle homelessness.

"The Street Sport model that we have been running in Clackmannanshire for the past year has had a most positive affect on helping the men involved. With this additional funding we can now build on that success and roll out the programme to help homeless women and women at risk of becoming homeless, giving them skills and confidence to improve their lives and the lives of any children they may have."

Councillor Douglas Reid, Housing spokesperson at COSLA said:

"We welcome the investment in promoting new ideas to tackle homelessness. We congratulate the councils who were successful on this occasion, and hope that they and others get further opportunities to fund more prevention work in the future."

The Innovation Fund was announced as part of the Statement on the Abolition of Priority Need to the Scottish Parliament on December 21, 2005.

The allocation of funding is:

£49,973 to the Forth Valley Street Sport initiative which will run between August 2006 and August 2007. This initiative will develop a programme of sports for women in order to promote self confidence and self esteem

£59,568 to the Tayside project working with prison leavers which will run from January 2007 to January 2008. This project will provide access to accommodation and skills for prison leavers, aiming to prevent homelessness by breaking the cycle of re-offending

£25,000 to the East Dunbartonshire multi-agency training project which will run from August 2006 to March 2007. Here, comprehensive training will be given to all front line staff in relation to homelessness 'triggers' and the range of services which can assist in prevention in order to improve inter-agency working and promote active signposting to services acting to prevent homelessness

£1,700 for the CAB Rent Arrears Scheme in East Lothian which will run from September 2006 to September 2007 and £5,404 for the Domestic Abuse resource pack project in East Lothian which will run from August 2006 to April 2007. These two projects are aimed at two separate issues. The CAB Rent Arrears Scheme will enable Citizens Advice Bureau to access financial information for individuals approaching them for assistance with rent arrears and the development of a Domestic Abuse Information Resource Pack will help signpost women who have experienced domestic abuse to services that may help prevent them from becoming homelessness

£55,220 for the Safe as Houses project in Edinburgh which will run from October 2006 to October 2007. This project aims to prevent and reduce homelessness amongst households at risk of domestic abuse through by installing practical safety measures in their current accommodation to reduce the need to spend time in temporary accommodation

£3,000 for the anger management project in Falkirk which will run from September 2006 to March 2007. This project will work with those with anger management difficulties to help improve their skills for engaging with agencies which can help them

£30,444 for the housing and employment initiative in Glasgow which will run from September 2006 to March 2008. Here, formerly looked-after young people will be provided with safe and secure housing association accommodation and employment opportunities