12% fall in homelessness welcomed

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Measures to tackle and prevent homelessness are making a real difference as new figures show a 12 per cent fall in the last three months of last year compared to the same period in 2011.

The statistics show there was also a 4% reduction in households in temporary accommodation and 8% fall in households with children in temporary accommodation.

Commenting, SNP MSP Edinburgh Central Marco Biagi said:

“For anyone facing homelessness it is a worrying time, and is one of the most traumatic ordeals that someone can suffer.

“That is why it is absolutely essential that public bodies and the voluntary sector do all they can to ensure that those at risk of homelessness get the help they need before reaching the point where they lose their home.

“The SNP Government is committed to helping those affected. In December we committed in law that anyone in Scotland who loses their home through no fault of their own is entitled to settled accommodation.

“Scotland is at the forefront in Europe in its approach to tackling homelessness. While strong progress is being made and this 12% fall should be welcomed, it is vital that there can be no complacency.

“This fall is thanks to the hard work of our councils, social workers, healthcare professionals and the voluntary sector.

“While Westminster is moving to make homelessness worse with its plans to scrap housing benefit for under-25s, an independent Scotland with powers over this issue could build upon the progress we are already making and do even more to tackle the problem of homelessness in Scotland.”