Decrease in Homeless in Scotland may be undone by Cuts
- 20 Dec
Research by Crisis shows that the welfare cuts could undermine any achievements made in tackling homelessness in Scotland.
Scottish Parliament were told yesterday that the cuts to the welfare budget, in particular the bedroom tax, will negatively impact 90,000 social tenants in Scotland and could increase homelessnes.
In contrast to England, homelessness has been falling in Scotland in recent years with Scottish Government figures released in October showing there had been a 13 per cent drop in homelessness applications in the country to 10,395 in the second quarter of this year from the same period last year.
The Scottish Government mainly attributes this success to its statutory target of ending homelessness by the end of the year, which means every council in Scotland must provide a home for every unintentionally homeless person by 31 December 2012.
The report says the penalty will ‘almost certainly drive up rent arrears and evictions, especially given the existence in Scotland of a serious mismatch between the stock profile (mainly family-sized accommodation) and much social housing demand (from single people, including single homeless people).'
The bedroom tax will cut working age social tenants' housing benefit by an average of 14 per cent for those with one spare room and 25 per cent for two spare rooms from April next year.
The Homelessness monitor: Scotland 2012 also states the extension of the ‘shared accommodation rate' of local housing allowance to 25 to 34-year-olds will ‘increase pressure on a limited supply of shared accommodation'.
It says it could possibly force vulnerable people into inappropriate shared settings.
The shared room rate is lower than all other housing benefit payments and is currently paid to claimants under 25. It is based on the amount of rent charged for a single room with shared use of the rest of a house.
Lead researcher Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick said:
It remains to be seen whether such gains can be maintained in the face of the prolonged recession, radical welfare cutbacks, and a tightening supply of affordable housing for those on low and modest incomes.
Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said:
Scotland has led the UK in tackling homelessness by widening its statutory safety net but to maintain this progress the Scottish Government and councils will need to ensure that homelessness and housing remains a clear policy and spending priority next year and going forward.
The Scottish Government says much of the success in bringing down homelessness applications is due to prevention strategies, including the ‘housing options' scheme which aims to help someone with housing need without them putting in a homelessness application.
Eight Scottish councils were still falling short of hitting the target with 18 days to go before the deadline.
Source: Inside Housing
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1094183
- 11 Sep
New service to support homeless people in Birmingham
A new dedicated Homeless Street Triage car will be responding to the rising number of calls reporting homelessness, begging and anti-social drinking in the city, reports 24dash.In the last year –...
- 09 Sep
Gym in Kent hopes to improve health and fitness of homeless people
Riverside is a specialist in working with single homeless people to help them get their lives back on track and into accommodation. Their new project, a gymnasium, has been funded by the Riverside...
- 08 Sep
The cost of homelessness in Hackney doubles
Figures have shown that the cost of homelessness in 2009/10 was £3,092,255 compared to £7,167,440 in 2014/15, with a cut on staff spending from £3,239,653 to £2,608,491 reports 24dash.Hackney...
- 04 Sep
Two homelessness services to be investigated
The Scottish Housing Regulator is set to investigate every aspect of services offered by Dumfries and Galloway Council, whilst also examining how homeless people access help and support at Scottish...
- 03 Sep
Homeless project for young people under threat due to cuts
Platform for Life was expected to attract interest from numerous housing associations with its scheme to convert properties into accommodation for young people in further education, training or work,...
- 01 Sep
Charities warns Irish government of homelessness crisis
Social Justice Ireland is calling for a new funding system that will meet the demand and reveal that only 20 council homes for families have been completed within the first three months of this year,...
- 26 Aug
Newspaper office to become a centre for homeless people
The old office for the Doncaster Free Press is being transformed into flats and other facilities for people who are homeless, reports Hold the Front Page. The building is being turned into...
- 20 Aug
Cuts leaving people in Cheltenham needing homelessness support
Bosses at CCP and Cheltenham Borough Council have said the “devastating impact” of benefit cuts in the town are causing issues for many people, report the Gloucestershire Echo.Over the past few...
- 19 Aug
Concern that homelessness in Cambridge is at ‘tipping point’
Not only do figures show a rise in quarterly numbers by 24 households, they also reveal that over 350 cases were placed in temporary accommodation over the last year, which was a rise of 50 cases on...
- 11 Aug
Charities say Wales is “setting an example” for homelessness
A joint report by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has praised Welsh laws that are trying to address the issues of homelessness, reports the BBC.However they warn that the removal of...
Exempt Accommodation, Welfare Reform and Vulnerable Tenants Another excellent session from Support Solutions - excellent value for money and excellent training D.A - St Vincent's Housing Association