Homelessness continues to fall
A Scottish Government-backed scheme to prevent homelessness is ‘making a difference’, Housing Minister Keith Brown said today
The Scottish Housing Options Approach funding programme allows local authorities to refocus services to look at the options of individuals in the widest sense.
In an attempt to reduce the number of homeless applicants, council staff provide households with information and advice about the range of services available.
Speaking as new homelessness figures were published, the Minister pointed to a “substantial and welcome” fall in people being made homeless in Scotland.
There was a 19 per cent fall in homelessness applications and a 15 per cent fall in households assessed as either homeless or threatened with homelessness.
There were also falls in households in temporary accommodation (down 5 per cent), and households with children in temporary accommodation (down 9 per cent).
The Scottish Government has already backed Scottish Housing Options Approach funding programme with investment of approximately £500,000, which is earmarked for staff training and service development.
Ministers confirmed that the Scottish Government will now distribute an additional £150,000 for the programme, announced in Parliament in April.
Commenting on the figures while visiting Edinburgh Cyrenians, Mr Brown said:
“These substantial and welcome figures are further encouragement that our innovative approach to tackling the blight of homelessness is working and making a real difference.
“This reflects the commitment shown by local authorities and their partners to move to a focus on prevention rather than just reacting to people becoming homeless.
“We will continue to drive forward that process to ensure that we can continue to make real reductions in the number of people being made homeless in Scotland.”
“There can be no shred of complacency while any household faces the trauma of being made homeless.
“Working with our partners in local government and elsewhere, we are getting ever closer, and remain fully on course to meet our target that, by the end of 2012 all unintentionally homeless people will be entitled to settled accommodation.”
Operation of the Homeless Persons Legislation in Scotland: 2011-12
Compared with 2010-11, the largest reductions in homeless applications have been seen in Aberdeen City (-56%), Falkirk (-49%), Highland (-40%), Scottish Borders (-37%), East Lothian (-35%) and Stirling (-35%).
The Homelessness target states that by the end of 2012 all unintentionally homeless people will be entitled to settled accommodation.
Fourteen council areas assessed 100% of homeless as priority. In a further nine council areas, over 90% of homeless assessments were assessed as priority, showing good progress towards the homelessness target.