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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Churches pile on the pressure over homelessness targets

November 07 2011
LAs and Scottish government must meet their target to end street homelessness by 2012


Scottish churches have joined forces to call for a ‘big push’ to ensure local authorities and the Scottish Government meet their target to end street homelessness by 2012.

Scottish Churches Action launched their campaign last month meeting with representatives from local authorities and the Scottish Government.

At a joint seminar they set out to consider how much has been done to address the issue of homelessness in Scotland in the last decade.

The meeting was the first in a series planned with the Scottish Government. Their aim is to ensure this target is on track with the commitment to ensure all of those who have unintentionally found themselves homeless, will be provided with accommodation by the end of 2012.

While the target has yet to be met, Scottish Churches Action said there have been signs of improvement.

The homelessness statistics show that in 2010/11, 88 per cent of homeless applicant households were assessed as priority need.

In some cases - such as in Angus, Stirling, and Perth and Kinross councils - local authorities have already assessed 100 per cent of homeless people as a priority for settled accommodation. However with 2012 looming, other councils still have some way to go.

Scottish Churches Housing Action stressed that they are not purely concerned with meeting these targets, but more focused on using prevention methods to stop homelessness occurring in the first place.

Alistair Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Churches Housing Action said: “In a wealthy Scotland, there is no need to make homelessness the painful and traumatic experience it is for so many.

“This means looking at why the individual has become homeless in the first place, and offering ways to help them find their way back into society. Scottish Churches Housing Action will be reporting its findings to the Scottish Government by the end of the year and is aiming to ensure the authorities stay on course with tackling this issue.