Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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The Moray the merrier?

May 23 2009
Moray desperately needs more affordable houses, report urges Every homeless person will have the right to their own home by 2012. But the temporary housing shortage continues to be a major issue and the pledge could be under serious threat if the figures continue to rise. Moray, in the North East of Scotland, is a clear example. In spite of all the strategies carried out by the Council to tackle homelessness, the number of people without their own home is rising steadily. According to Shelter Scotland, between 2006-2008, 20 more people became homeless, bringing the total to 587 households. The most recent figures (March 2008) also show 159 households are living in temporary accommodation - that's up 41 from last year. The fact is that Moray, as everywhere else, desperately needs more affordable houses. A report by June Shennan, Acting Homelessness Strategy Development Manager for Moray Council, recommended that at least 200 new homes are needed by 2015. In the first year, 50 houses would be built, followed by between 20 and 30 a year until 2012. Currently the Council currently spends around £12,000 a week on Bed & Breakfast accomodation, but it's a temporary and unsatisfactory solution. Yet the council has increased its efforts to provide temporary accommodation since 2004. Back then only 78 homes were available; now there are 143. The latest step forward was the opening of 13 flats at St Andrews Court at Buckie. But it's still not enough. This new-build housing programme is vital to improve the lives of people who live in Bed & Breakfast, offering them the chance of security as well as to avoid the sums spent on homeless accommodation by the Council.