Building houses key to stopping homelessness
Posted 08 Oct 2020
Our Director Alison Watson represented the charity on the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group. HARSAG was reconvened amid the impact of the pandemic and made new recommendations which the Government has responded to today with an updated Action Plan.
Alison Watson said:
“We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to end homelessness as set out in today’s update to the Action Plan.
“With thousands of people worried about losing their job and their home, we need everyone in Government, banking, the third sector and across the country to step up to prevent a second wave of coronavirus from creating a tsunami of homelessness. Our homelessness system was in crisis before the pandemic and today’s announcement goes some way to improving the services, protections from eviction and support people desperately need.
“The reason so many people have ended up in hotels, and Bed and Breakfasts during the pandemic is because we didn’t have enough social homes for them. We know that the only way to end the cycle of homelessness is to build enough homes for people to live in. So, while today’s announcement is welcome, we need Scottish Government Ministers to go further and to commit funding for enough social and affordable homes.
“The Government needs a plan that will deliver the 37,100 social homes that academics have calculated are required to reduce the numbers of people in need of housing for the first time in decades.
“Given the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackling homelessness, we were disappointed by the recent decision to delay the extension of the Unsuitable Accommodation Order to cover all homeless households. Government must work with local authorities to ensure they can provide suitable temporary accommodation for everyone who needs in from January 2021.”