Rural homeless must not become second class citizens
7 May 2009
People facing homelessness in rural Scotland should not be allowed to become second class citizens. That was the warning today from Shelter Scotland responding to the findings of the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Housing Inquiry.
The report shows that an estimated 29 per cent of housing association lets in rural areas go to homeless people. This demonstrates that people on waiting lists continue to get the lion’s share of new homes that become available to let.
Speaking today Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said:
“The Committee has produced a substantial report which correctly identifies the acute shortage of affordable housing as the root cause of tensions in rural Scotland. Their findings add yet more weight to the argument that housing is the number one issue for rural Scotland.
“Any attempt to water down the 2012 legal commitment to end homelessness in Scotland would make second class citizens of homeless people in rural Scotland.
“Shelter Scotland has called for a stock-take of homelessness policy across the whole of Scotland to ensure that the historic 2012 homelessness target is realised in every local community. The committee’s call for a review of homelessness legislation in rural areas would offer an opportunity to ensure that Scotland remains on track for 2012.”
Notes to Editors:
1. Read the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee, 5th Report, 2009 (Session 3) Rural Housing, 7 May 2009 here
2. Read the Scottish Parliament News Release: Committee calls for planning culture overhaul to alleviate pressures on rural housing provision here