£2m boost to tackle homelessness
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Finance
Grants totalling more than £2.1 million aimed at tackling homelessness and housing issues in Scotland have been awarded, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
A total of 29 new projects successfully applied for the Housing Voluntary Grant Scheme for 2014/15.
The latest round of funding will make it easier for older and disabled people to live independently in their own homes, support rural housing, tackle homelessness and encourage engagement between tenants and landlords.
Housing Options Scotland has been awarded £221,250 for its work ensuring disabled people have access to suitable housing, while the Shelter Housing Law Service, which offers tenants legal advice, has been given a £185,473.
Other projects to benefit from the scheme include the Rural Housing Partnership, which has been granted £180,000 to help address local housing, particularly in Dumfries and Galloway and the Highlands, and £164,000 for Homeless Action Scotland to prevent homelessness.
Sturgeon said: “No-one in Scotland should be without a warm bed and a place to stay so it’s particularly upsetting to think of those vulnerable people in our communities who may find themselves homeless at Christmas.
“We recognise that homelessness also applies to those living in a hostel or having to stay in unsuitable accommodation. That’s why I’m delighted to announce that £2m funding will be spread across 29 worthwhile and innovative projects through the Housing Voluntary Grant Scheme.
“These projects offer invaluable advice and support on homelessness and a wide range of housing issues with some providing legal advice and educational opportunities and others making it easier for the elderly to continue to live in their own homes.”
Moira Bayne, Housing Options Scotland’s chief executive, said: “We are truly delighted that the Scottish Government has continued to put its faith in us to help disabled and older people and veterans across Scotland find 'The Right House in the Right Place'.
“Our grant award for 2014 will enable us to provide quicker response times for new clients and expand our outreach work through our Military Matters and Peer Support projects."
Bethany Christian Trust has received funding for the first time with £44,000 set to assist with literacy and numeracy, budgeting support, employment and volunteering and street work.
Crisis UK and the Scottish Churches Housing Action have been given grants of £78,943 and £65,000 respectively, which includes funding for two new projects.
The new Crisis UK scheme will design and resource services for those homeless or vulnerably housed people in Scotland who need to move into shared housing. The Scottish Churches Housing Action’s initiative will assist prisoners with housing, health, training and employment interviews following their release from HMP Edinburgh.
The Venture Trust will be given £60,000 to help young people who have been left homeless, build on their self-esteem and independent living skills through outward bound courses and wilderness training.
The Venture Trust’s chief executive, Mark Bibbey, said: “At Venture Trust, we’re really delighted to have been awarded a grant from HVSG. This support will enable us to launch a national programme to inspire and enable young people who are living in supported accommodation right across Scotland.
“Through a personal-development programme centred on a wilderness expedition in the Scottish Highlands, participants will be able to develop the skills they need to sustain their tenancies and work towards stable, independent futures.
“The support from HVSG will enable Venture Trust to build on our proven history of supporting young people from complex and chaotic backgrounds, and will give young people who are struggling with, or are at risk of, homelessness the opportunity to make and sustain real change in their lives.”
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