Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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New changes to housing law

November 01 2010
Amendment should strengthen support for families at risk of homelessness

The Scottish Parliament's Local Government and Communities Committee has introduced new changes to the national Housing Bill, which strengthens the way in which local councils support families who are at risk of homelessness.

The amendment, raised by Labour MSP Mary Mulligan, has been welcomed as the result of co-operation between several organisations including Shelter Scotland, Quarriers, Scottish Churches Association and Scottish Veteran Residences.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, commented: "I am pleased that the minister and MSPs listened to the evidence on the benefits that better support for homeless people will bring.

"It will ensure that people get the help to turn a house into a home and prevent the huge waste of repeat homelessness. I am keen now to work in partnership with the Scottish Government and local authorities to turn the new rules into effective and workable action on the ground.

The changes to housing support have two main aims: to give councils a duty to investigate the needs of homeless people who require support; and to provide the services that are necessary.

Paul Moore, chief executive at Quarriers, also welcomed the changes in the law: "Getting the right support is a vital part of the process in helping to transform the lives of young homeless people and the passing of this amendment is a hugely positive step forward."