SHELTER Scotland today welcomed the lowest number of homelessness applications since 2002/03 but called for Scottish Government intervention to ensure local authorities that are failing homeless people still meet the 2012 commitment to end homelessness.
Says a spokesperson: “The call comes as the Scottish Government’s latest homelessness statistics (1) reveal today that one council has already met the commitment, seven councils are on or ahead of schedule and 14 are making good progress. However, the figures also show seven local authorities are failing to deliver, while three are actually going backwards.
“The charity is calling for housing to be at the top of the national political agenda. It wants building more homes, protecting and refurbishing those we already have and preventing homelessness to be top priorities to help the thousands of families stuck waiting for a home.”
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, said:
“Local authorities who have made good progress must be congratulated, and questions asked of other councils whose lack of progress remains unacceptable.
“We know times are tough and local authorities are under increasing pressure, but our commitment to give everyone the right to a home by 2012 is a legislative requirement that cannot be shirked from.
“With 21 councils well on their way to meeting the 2012 commitment and one already having met it, the Scottish Government must be prepared to intervene where local authorities continue to fail in their responsibilities to homeless people.
“We want everyone in Scotland to have not only the right to a home but the keys to one as well. That’s why a new approach to housing is needed. One that puts providing homes at the top of the political agenda, prioritises building more houses, refurbishing and protecting those we already have, and preventing homelessness in the first place.”
Shelter Scotland’s annual conference on progress towards 2012, which will address the challenges councils face, takes place on September 28, 2010 in Edinburgh.
For more details or to book your place, please go to http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/events
Notes to Editors:
3. Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity. Shelter Scotland believes that everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
4. Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.
5. For more information about Shelter Scotland visit www.shelter.org.uk
6. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/shelterinscotland
Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland
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Contact: Nicola Baxter, Amanda Howie
Phone: 0844 515 2442