New laws which strengthen the way in which local councils support families who are at risk of homelessness have been hailed by Shelter Scotland as crucial and progressive.
The measures were made law as the Housing [Scotland] Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. A raft of measures including Access to Support for people facing homelessness and the end of the Right-to-Buy scheme for new build social housing were all passed.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, said:
“Today’s passing of the Housing Bill is a fantastic result for homeless people and those facing homelessness across Scotland.
“This new legislation is both crucial and progressive.
“For the first time, local authorities will now have to provide appropriate access to support for families and individuals who are at risk of losing their homes. As the cuts take their toll and more people are driven toward debt, repossession and evictions, this legislation will give them a much better chance of dealing with their situation more effectively.
“We congratulate the Scottish Parliament for its courage and strength in seeing this Bill through. The result will bring positive social and financial benefits through a significant reduction in repeat homelessness. We view this as progressive legislation which proves that Scotland has a pioneering approach to dealing with housing and homelessness issues.”
Mr Brown added: “This Bill also introduces welcome reform of Right-to-Buy which will prevent the sell-off of all new social homes – an overdue provision which helps secure Scotland’s housing stock for the future.”
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. To find out more about Access to Support go to: http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/news/news/news_folder/2010/october_2010/msps_betraying_scotlands_pioneering_reputation_on_homelessness
3. Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.
4. For more information about Shelter Scotland visit www.shelter.org.uk
5. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/shelterinscotland
Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland
Contact: Neil Baldwin, Nicola Baxter
Phone: 0844 515 2442