A NEW ten-year action plan to address homelessness prevention and crisis services needs to be put in place if Scotland wants to remain a world leader on the issue, says housing charity, Shelter Scotland.
Says a spokesperson: “The charity says a ten-year action plan will help Scotland to maintain focus and deliver the ongoing commitment made through the country’s landmark 2012 homelessness legislation – which gave every unintentionally homeless person the right to settled accommodation.
“The call for a ten-year action plan comes ahead of Shelter Scotland’s annual conference – ‘Housing, homelessness, advice and prevention’, which will see experts focus on the impact of bad housing on health inequalities in Scotland, and other key priorities for the sector.
“Shelter Scotland says the ten-year action plan must respond to current and future challenges for housing and homelessness advice services and set out the key objectives at national and local level.
“It should be built with the aim of delivering person-centred services which allow flexibility and choice, and lead to sustainable housing outcomes for all service users.
“Last year, there were 39,827 homelessness applications in Scotland with 10,471 families and individuals in temporary accommodation.”
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, says:
“Scotland has the most progressive homelessness legislation in the world, but that doesn’t mean that homelessness has gone away. It still exists in all its various forms. Meeting the 2012 commitment was an important landmark but we now need to look forward to the next ten years to ensure that progress continues and we don’t take any backward steps.
“We now need to work in partnership and build a homelessness service that has the person at its heart and enables homeless people to make choices that are right for them. This is about people, not processes.”
Graeme Brown added:
“We expect the coming years to be extremely challenging as a result of welfare reforms and the introduction of Universal Credit – which is set to bring even more disruption to people’s lives. While we hope there isn’t a rise in homelessness, we must be prepared for the challenges that undoubtedly lie ahead. A ten-year action plan would be the best place to start.”
Notes to Editors:
1. Shelter Scotland helps over half a million people a year struggling with bad housing or homelessness – and we campaign to prevent it in the first place. We’re here so no-one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own. For advice and support visit www.shelterscotland.org or call 0808 800 4444.
2. Spokespeople are available for interview – call the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line is available for broadcast interviews.
3. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/shelterscotland Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland
Shelter Scotland believes everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
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Contact: Shelter Scotland