More work still to be done on homelessness

Homeless sleeping rough.
Homeless sleeping rough.

SHELTER Scotland has congratulated Fife Council for achieving a 14 per cent reduction in the number of homelessness applications made in the last year.

However, the charity warns that more work still needs to be done to ensure the council is prepared to deliver Scotland’s 2012 homelessness reforms in six months.

The Scottish Government’s latest homelessness statistics show that the council is assessing 90 per cent of homeless applications as priority need.

Meanwhile, 14 of Scotland’s 32 other local authorities have already met the historic commitment by assessing 100 per cent of homeless applications as priority need.

Shelter Scotland says the council has done well to reduce the number of homelessness applications but says more work must be done to prepare for the 2012 reforms.

These will see an end to the current system where only those people deemed to be in priority need have the right to a home.

The Homelessness Act, passed in 2003, effectively extends the right to a home to single homeless people as well as couples without children – categories which previously had few housing rights.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “Fife Council has done well to reduce the number of homeless applications by 14 per cent.

“However, with only six months to go until the change in legislation, the council must do more to prepare for the reforms.”