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Shelter Scotland written evidence on homelessness for the Local Government and Communities committee

By: Shelter Scotland  Published: March 2017


Summary

Shelter Scotland  has submitted evidence to the Local Government and Communities committee on homelessness, which includes the key recommendations from our current campaign Homelessness: Far From Fixed.  We believe there is an urgent need for the Scottish Government to re-focus on homelessness and to introduce a new National Homelessness Strategy. We therefore welcome this inquiry from the committee.

Scotland has a strong track record in tackling and preventing homelessness, but in spite of this progress, homelessness in Scotland is far from fixed.

There are complex challenges which must be addressed urgently, and require a coordinated approach. There is for example concern regarding:

  • The impact of the welfare reforms on individuals, local authorities and social landlords

  • The increase in social sector evictions as a response to managing rent arrears

  • The pressure on local authority budgets and the potential risk to funding for homelessness services

  • The pressure on the provision of and funding for temporary accommodation

  • The length of time spent in temporary accommodation

  • The quality and affordability of temporary accommodation

  • The ability to move households on to appropriate settled accommodation

  • The lack of consistent Scotland wide housing support services for offenders to help prevent re-offending

  • The disproportionately slow reduction in the number of young people becoming homeless

  • The increasing proportion of people with complex needs and the need to make appropriate services available for this group.

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