FEWER people in Scotland are being made homeless according to official statistics published today.
There was a 20% decrease in both homelessness applications and assessments, comparing April and September 2011 with the same period one year ago. Falls were recorded in 28 out of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.
Aberdeen City and Scottish Borders councils witnessed the greatest drop at 56%, while Falkirk followed closely behind on 53%.
Homelessness in Stirling dropped by 42% and by 41% in the Highlands. East Lothian witnessed a decline of 38% while Moray recorded a drop of 32%.
The figures represent the lowest numbers of applications in a decade.
Nine councils assessed 100% of their homeless households as being in priority need, while a further 11 assessed over 90% as being in priority need, showing good progress towards the homelessness target.
The Homelessness target states that by the end of 2012 all unintentionally homeless people will be entitled to settled accommodation.
There was also a reduction in households in temporary accommodation (down by 4% from December 2010); a reduction of households with children in temporary accommodation (down by 13% to 3364) and a reduction in the numbers of children in temporary accommodation (down by 18% to 5,259) with only 15 households with children or pregnant women in bed and breakfast accommodation.
Housing Minister Keith Brown said: “These encouraging statistics show that we are within touching distance of meeting the 2012 Homelessness target.
“The dramatic decrease in applications is likely to be a consequence of changes in how local authorities help households who approach them for assistance.
“Over the past few years councils have been developing services in which staff assist households to consider the range of options available to address their housing needs, including preventing homelessness.
“We will continue to work with councils and their partners to prevent homelessness and improve outcomes for households that do become homeless.
“This Government aims to deliver 30,000 affordable homes in the next five years – including 20,000 for social rent, over the life of this Parliament. Over the next three years we will be making over £710 million available for housing.”
The official homeless statistics can be found at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/00956