New figures released today [Thursday] show that evictions by Housing Associations across Scotland have reduced by more than a third over the last 12 months. However, they are still lagging behind Local Authorities in their responsibility to house homeless people.
The Scottish Housing Regulator statistics showed a 38% reduction in evictions by Housing Associations down from 1,524 in 2008/9 to 942 in 2009/10. However, the figures also showed that for the same period only 26% of Housing Association lets were to homeless people whereas the figure for Local Authority lets was 43% of the total.
Shelter Scotland says the reduction in evictions is highly encouraging and shows their campaigning against unnecessary evictions is paying off, but urged Housing Associations to do more to meet the needs of homeless people.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, said:
“All along, we have been campaigning in the knowledge that the number of evictions across Scotland was far too high and that Local Authorities and Housing Associations could find alternative ways of dealing with tenants. The fact that evictions by Housing Associations were reduced by 38% last year is highly encouraging and shows that our campaigning efforts in this area have made a real impact. However, against the backdrop of people’s financial struggles in today’s current economic situation, we believe Local Authorities and Housing Associations alike have to continue this progress and cannot be complacent.
“On the matter of housing homeless people, while today’s figures show that Housing Associations lets to homeless people increased slightly over the past year, there is still a significant gap between their performance and that of Local Authorities. While there a few notable exceptions, on the whole, we would like to see Scotland’s Housing Associations housing more homeless people.”
Shelter Scotland’s operates a national helpline for people facing housing issues or homelessness: on 0808 800 4444 or, alternatively, they can go to www.shelter.org.uk/getadvice
Notes to Editors:
1. 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.
2. Statistics Source: Annual Performance & Statistical Return (APSR) 2009-10 – Scottish Housing Regulator: http://www.scottishhousingregulator.gov.uk/stellent/groups/public/documents/webpages/shr_statisticstables2008-09.hcsp#TopOfPage
3. A breakdown of statistics by Local Authority area is not available as some Housing Associations cover several regions.
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
Contact: Neil Baldwin, Nicola Baxter
Phone: 0844 515 2442