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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Scottish milestone

February 04 2013
Scottish LAs now have a duty to provide settled accommodation to anyone who becomes homeless through no fault of their own

 

Scotland has marked a milestone in the fight to end homelessness after meeting its 2012 commitment to create a right to settled accommodation. Previously only those classed as being in priority need – often families with children – were entitled to settled accommodation.

However, the Scottish government’s decision to abolish priority need means local authorities now have a duty to provide settled accommodation to anyone who becomes homeless through no fault of their own.

The change in policy fulfils a commitment first set out a decade ago by the Labour/Lib-Dem coalition. Deputy first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon called it “a landmark day in the fight against homelessness.”

She added: “I know the heartache and trauma of homelessness from working closely with households faced with the prospect of losing the roof over their head.

“Meeting our 2012 commitment guarantees that those who lose their home from no fault of their own will be guaranteed settled accommodation.

“It is absolutely right to offer this guarantee in a time of crisis for people. It sends the signal that we are there to help, there is hope and that the state will do what it can.”

She also announced that £300,000 would be spent over the next two years to help councils prevent homelessness.

The change in legislation was welcomed by Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, as a bold approach to the problem of homelessness.

“Scotland can be very proud that it is making history by meeting the 2012 commitment - which is internationally regarded as the cutting edge of progressive homelessness reform.

“I congratulate all the local authorities who have made widespread changes in order to meet their new responsibilities to homeless people.”

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