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Homeless figures drop as fewer children put into temporary housing

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Homeless figures drop as fewer children put into temporary housing

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities

Scottish Government Bill seeks to 'lessen impact' of Coalition's welfare reforms Scottish Government Bill seeks to 'lessen impact' of Coalition's welfare reforms

Fewer households in Scotland are becoming homeless while the amount of children living in temporary accommodation has dropped 20%, new official statistics have revealed.

Between October and December 2013, there were 8,007 homelessness applications, 10% lower than the number received during the same quarter of 2012.

The number of households living in temporary accommodation has also dropped to its lowest level for five years.

Households in temporary accommodation decreased by 3% during the year, from 10,252 at the end of 2012 to 9,963 at the end of 2013.

Of these, 2,456 were households with children in temporary accommodation – a decrease of 624 households compared with a year earlier.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “The Scottish government is committed to supporting people of all ages who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

“We have worked hard with local authorities over the past few years to develop services in which staff assist households to consider options and address their individual needs in order to help prevent homelessness before it occurs.

“Alongside this we are increasing the supply of affordable housing to ensure settled accommodation is available to households as quickly as possible to reduce time spent in temporary accommodation. This is a vital part of our efforts to build a better and fairer Scotland.

“Today’s figures, which show a drop of 20% in the number of households with children in temporary accommodation as well as a 10 per cent decrease in homeless applications, demonstrate that this is working."

David Ogilvie, policy manager at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said: “The SFHA is pleased to see a continuing downward trend in the overall level of homelessness in Scotland, but the fact remains that too many people are experiencing homelessness in Scotland today.

“While we take encouragement from these statistics that the homelessness prevention policies and initiatives put in place by our members over recent years are continuing to bear fruit, the fact remains there is a chronic shortage of appropriate affordable rented housing across Scotland.

“Despite being faced with considerable budgetary pressures as a result of welfare reform, these figures at least suggest that Scotland's local authorities, working in collaboration with housing associations and co-operatives and other third sector partners, are doing their best to ensure that tenancies are sustained wherever possible.”

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