New figures released this week in Scotland show that Housing Associations are still lagging behind Local Authorities in their responsibility to house homeless people.
This is despite the fact that evictions by Housing Associations across the country have reduced by more than a third over the last 12 months, says Shelter Scotland (http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/), the housing and homelessness charity.
The Scottish Housing Regulator statistics showed a 38 per cent reduction in evictions by Housing Associations down from 1,524 in 2008/9 to 942 in 2009/10.
However, the figures also showed that for the same period only 26 per cent of Housing Association lets were to homeless people, whereas the figure for Local Authority lets was 43 per cent of the total.
Shelter Scotland says the reduction in evictions is highly encouraging and shows their campaigning against unnecessary evictions is paying off, but urged Housing Associations to do more to meet the needs of homeless people.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, commented: “All along, we have been campaigning in the knowledge that the number of evictions across Scotland was far too high and that Local Authorities and Housing Associations could find alternative ways of dealing with tenants."
He continued: "The fact that evictions by Housing Associations were reduced by 38 per cent last year is highly encouraging and shows that our campaigning efforts in this area have made a real impact. However, against the backdrop of people’s financial struggles in today’s current economic situation, we believe Local Authorities and Housing Associations alike have to continue this progress and cannot be complacent."
Brown added: “On the matter of housing homeless people, while today’s figures show that Housing Associations lets to homeless people increased slightly over the past year, there is still a significant gap between their performance and that of Local Authorities. While there a few notable exceptions, on the whole, we would like to see Scotland’s Housing Associations housing more homeless people.”
Shelter Scotland operates a national helpline for people facing housing issues or homelessness on 0808 800 4444. Alternatively, people can go to www.shelter.org.uk/getadvice
For the full statistics, See: Annual Performance & Statistical Return (APSR) 2009-10 – Scottish Housing Regulator: http://www.scottishhousingregulator.gov.uk/stellent/groups/public/docume...