People and prevention at the centre of new action plan.
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.
This is one of the key aims in the Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan. The plan sets out measures for national and local government and the third sector who provide frontline services.
People who are living in temporary accommodation or at risk of homelessness are already being supported quickly into permanent homes through investment of £23.5 million, which is part of the £50 million Ending Homelessness Together Fund.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell launched the plan while visiting Cyrenians' distribution centre in Edinburgh. She said:
"Everyone needs a safe, warm place to call home. It's more than a place to live it's where we feel secure, have roots and a sense of belonging.
"The causes of homelessness can be complex and that's why all services need to be joined up. Working together we can end homelessness for good.
"The First Minister made a commitment in this year's Programme for Government to end rough sleeping and homelessness and this is what will get us there. The plan builds on the many changes in homelessness and affordable housing we have delivered in recent years, including more than £3 billion to deliver 35,000 homes for social rent and the multi-million pound Ending Homelessness Together Fund.
"I'd like to thank the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group for all their hard work that has led to this action plan.£
Cllr Elena Whitham, COSLA's Community Wellbeing Spokesperson added:
"Access to good quality affordable housing is fundamental to us all - the key actions contained in this plan, to prevent homelessness occurring in the first place, personalise decisions for those affected and prioritise settled housing will contribute to better outcomes for communities across Scotland. The continued focus on services being joined up remains critical - I know Councils and our partners across the various sectors are committed to delivering on the actions contained within this plan."
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:
"This is an ambitious plan that firmly positions Scotland as a world-leader in ending homelessness. The turnaround has been swift and the approach is bold but achievable if the commitment is shared across local government, housing associations and homelessness charities. The plan has people at its heart and makes clear that the best approach is to prevent homelessness in the first place, however we need to see a prevention duty in law for all public bodies as well as an ambitious set of targets which demonstrates that homelessness has been ended for more people.
"However, overall this plan presents us with a chance to get behind bold and transformative reforms, and see Scotland lead the way once again. It is a unique opportunity to get policies and services right for homeless people, but also to look beyond homelessness into the wider systemic issues of inequality and poverty to bring an end to the injustice of homelessness in Scotland once and for all."
The Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan will focus on:
- Providing a person centred approach to support individual needs
- Putting prevention first, to minimise the risk of people becoming homeless
- Prioritising the provision of settled and mainstreamed housing
- Ensuring a quick and effective response by frontline workers
- Joining up planning and resources
The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group made 70 recommendations, which have all been accepted by the Scottish Government.