Progress on homelessness
26 June 2012
Our response to the latest homelessness figures from the Scottish Government, published 26 June 2012.
There were 19% fewer homelessness applications in 2011/12 and 15% fewer homelessness assessments than in 2010/11.
The statistics also showed that 14 local authorities were now assessing 100% as priority– meaning they had already met the Scottish Government’s groundbreaking 2012 commitment on homelessness, which guarantees all unintentionally homeless people the right to a home.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, says:
Whilst the national figure masks some of the significant variations between individual local authorities, an overall reduction can only be a good thing.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland
“It is good news that the majority of Scotland’s local authorities are taking the right steps toward ensuring every unintentionally homeless person has the right to a home.
“There has been an overall reduction in the numbers of people having to go through the nightmare of homelessness - which is a welcome improvement. Whilst the national figure masks some of the significant variations between individual local authorities, an overall reduction can only be a good thing.
“But let’s not forget that more than 45,000 homelessness applications were made with 35,000 assessed as homeless – so there’s no room for complacency, particularly given the Prime Minister’s speech yesterday when he suggested scrapping housing benefit for under 25s.
“However, if the 2012 commitment is to mean anything, it has to be the start of something better, and we can’t yet be certain that those people who would have otherwise entered the system are better off outside it.
“We hope they are - but it is now imperative that COSLA, the Scottish Government and homelessness organisations present the evidence to match the assertion that Housing options is working.”
Graeme Brown added:
“We also welcome the reduction in numbers of families being housed in temporary accommodation – an issue we highlighted in our Christmas 2011 campaign.”
Visit our Research and Statistics section for a full breakdown of the latest homelessness statistics.