Scotland’s homelessness legislation is amongst the most progressive in the world. We have made huge progress in tackling homelessness, but we are aware of worrying signs of an increase in rough sleeping.
We’re not prepared to see the progress made undone. That’s why we’ve set a new goal to end rough sleeping for good and are taking new action to make that a reality.
✔️ We are investing £50 million in a new ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ fund.
The new Fund will support anti-homelessness initiatives and pilot new innovative solutions to drive faster change and transform temporary accommodation.
✔️ We have established a Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group to lead the way in eradicating homelessness and the use of temporary accommodation.
The group made key recommendations for this winter, which were adopted by the Scottish Government and backed with total investment of £328,000 including £262,000 from the Scottish Government. Recommendations include increasing emergency accommodation and flexible provision in areas with the greatest numbers of rough sleepers; boosting multi-agency partnership working; and making budgets available to front line workers to meet immediate housing needs.
The Action Group has published a second set of recommendations looking at how we can eradicate rough sleeping and end homelessness for good. We have accepted the recommendations and will work with the Group to ensure they are implemented.
✔️ We have reduced the time that households with pregnant women or children can spend in unsuitable accommodation from 14 to 7 days.
We will also develop guidance on standards in temporary accommodation for homeless households.
✔️ We are committed to delivering 50,000 more affordable homes in this Scottish Parliament term.
In our decade in power we have nearly delivered 72,500 affordable homes. We’re committed to delivering 50,000 homes between 2016 and 2021.
To meet this, we will invest £3 billion over five years, including £756 million this year alone and a 76 per cent increase on the previous five years.
✔️ We will invest an extra £20 million in drug and alcohol services.
Along with the £20 million a year committed in the Programme for Government, we will introduce a Substance Misuse Treatment Strategy. The new combined approach will be published this year and will recognise the many shared underlying causes and similarities in treatment services.
✔️ The Scottish Government is spending over £100 million every year mitigating Tory welfare cuts.
No one in Scotland has to pay the Tory Bedroom Tax and we’re committed to scrapping it once and for all. We have also extended the Scottish Welfare Fund to mitigate the Westminster decision to remove Housing Benefit for 18-21 year olds.
We believe that Universal Credit - which will replace a number of benefits including housing benefit - is fundamentally flawed and that the roll-out should be halted. In areas where it has been introduced, we have seen increases in debt and rent arrears - putting people at risk of homelessness.
The Scottish Government will use limited social security powers to protect people in Scotland, helping between 650,000 and 700,000 households. We have taken steps to allow more frequent payments of Universal Credit and for the housing element to be paid direct to landlords, making it easier for people to manage their money.
- Tory welfare cuts must end
- Almost 72,500 affordable homes delivered but we're just getting going
- Building a fair, inclusive and more prosperous Scotland for everyone