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Scottish homeless applications drop by 19 per cent

July 18th 2012


Homelessness figures have dropped by nearly a fifth, according to the latest Scottish government statistics.

Between 2011 and 2012, councils received 45,322 applications from those registering as homeless, a drop of 19 per cent on the previous year.

The total number of households assessed as homeless dropped by 15 per cent, while the number of households in temporary accommodation was down five per cent and households with children in temporary accommodation also fell by nine per cent.

By and large, the amount of applications has fallen in 30 out of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, with the greatest drop in Aberdeen City (down 56 per cent); South Ayrshire and Midlothian were the only council areas which have seen an overall increase.

The Scottish Government credit a scheme which focusses on homelessness prevention strategies as one of the key factors of the decline in numbers.

Housing Minister Keith Brown said: "This reflects the commitment shown by local authorities and their partners to move to a focus on prevention rather than just reacting to people becoming homeless. We will continue to drive forward that process to ensure that we can continue to make real reductions in the number of people being made homeless in Scotland."

Although the figures have been encouraging, the same statistics have also highlighted an increase in repossession warnings and Mr Brown has cautioned against complacency. He added "There can be no shred of complacency while any household faces the trauma of being made homeless. Working with our partners in local government and elsewhere, we are getting ever closer and remain fully on course to meet our target that by the end of 2012 all unintentionally homeless people will be entitled to settled accommodation."

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said of the latest findings: "It is good news that the majority of Scotland's local authorities are taking the right steps toward ensuring every unintentionally homeless person has the right to a home. But let's not forget that more than 45,000 homelessness applications were made with 35,000 assessed as homeless, so there's no room for complacency, particularly given the Prime Minister's speech yesterday when he suggested scrapping housing benefit for under-25s."




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