Commenting on the latest homelessness statistics released today (Tuesday 26th June) by the Scottish Government, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) said progress was welcome, but more hard work lay ahead.
The figures show a 19 per cent fall in homelessness applications and a 15 per cent fall in households assessed as either homeless or threatened with homelessness.
Andy Young, Policy Manager at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said:
“The SFHA welcomes the news that homelessness is falling and has long advocated a preventative approach to tackling it.
“Scotland’s housing associations and co-operatives are working hard with local authorities and other partners to help provide good quality housing and support, and this is contributing to progress towards the 2012 target to end involuntary homelessness.
“However, in the long term, we still have concerns about whether there will be enough homes to meet Scotland’s overall housing need.
“We also need to ensure we have good quality housing support services in place. These can include practical advice, medical and addiction support, or more intensive, specialist help, and they help households who have been homeless to sustain a tenancy. This can help someone turn a ‘house’ into a ‘home’.
“However, the spectre of welfare reform casts a long shadow over all of this. Make no mistake, the proposed restrictions to housing benefit are the biggest threat to tenancy sustainment in living memory, and have the potential to undo all of the good work carried out in Scotland by local authorities, housing associations and their partners.”
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1) The Scottish Government’s latest housing statistics are available HERE
2) The SFHA was established in 1975 and has around 170 members providing affordable housing and wider community services in Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial members. The SFHA is owned by its membership and exists to support the work of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland by providing services, advice and good practice guidance.
3) The SFHA is the voice of the principal builders and managers of new affordable housing for rent in Scotland. Housing Associations own and manage around 40% of the country’s affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
4) Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.