Ending homelessness together

Scotland has made huge progress in tackling homelessness and has some of the strongest rights for homeless people in the world. However, we know there is more to do and we are not prepared to see the progress made undone.

Last week we published an action plan that sets out a five year programme to end homelessness and transform temporary accommodation.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The plan will ensure public services take a personalised, tailored response to resolving housing needs.
  • We will take more action to prevent homelessness. Our focus on prevention so far has contributed to a 39 per cent reduction in homelessness applications since 2008, but we know there is more to do.
  • A shift towards rapid rehousing will see homeless people housed in long-term and settled accommodation solutions that meets their needs as quickly as possible.
  • The plan will ensure a quick and effective response by frontline workers, by developing a national model of frontline outreach with enhanced training and support
  • We will do more to ensure planning and resources are joined up, ensuring local authorities, housing providers and public bodies work together to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping at every opportunity.
  • We are investing £50 million in the Ending Homelessness Together fund to support the delivery of the action plan.
  • Additionally, we are providing an extra £370,000 funding to help people stay warm and safe this winter.

In government, we are taking other actions to eradicate rough sleeping and homelessness for good.

  • We have legislated to reduce the time that families and pregnant women can spend in unsuitable temporary accommodation from 14 to 7 days, and we will now go further to extend the one week cap to all homeless households and consult early next year on implementation.
  • We have published a new strategy to prevent and reduce drugs and alcohol use, supported by additional funding of £20 million a year.
  • We are committed to delivering 50,000 more affordable homes in this Scottish Parliament term, backed with investment of £3 billion – the single biggest investment in affordable housing since devolution.
  • The Scottish Government is spending over £125 million this year mitigating Tory welfare cuts and protecting those on low incomes. We continue to fully mitigate the Bedroom Tax and will abolish it as soon as possible. We have also provided additional funding through the Scottish Welfare Fund to support 18 to 21 year olds following the Tory government decision to remove their Housing Benefit.
  • We are creating a Scottish social security system based on dignity, fairness and respect, which will help to support those who need it, when they need it.