Scottish Churches Housing Action welcomes new measures to support homeless

By agency reporter
October 6, 2010

Scottish Churches Housing Action has welcomed the decision of the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee to include a measure to assess the support needs of people who apply to their local council as homeless, in the Housing (Scotland) Bill .

The amendment, introduced by Mary Mulligan MSP, will require councils to look not just at accommodation needs but also at the support needs of applicants and their families.

“This measure is simply common sense,” said Alastair Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Churches Housing Action. “Everyone recognises that homelessness is about more than the roof over people’s head. Looking at someone’s need for a home without also assessing their support sets things up for failure. This measure will help prevent repeat homelessness, and save councils money.”

Support can be anything from help with furnishing a house, to dealing with mental health problems. Support is provided in most areas of Scotland by voluntary organisations as well as health and council services.

Scottish Churches Housing Action has worked closely with Shelter and other charities to secure the amendment to the Housing Bill.

“We are delighted the Committee has taken this step and look forward to seeing it become law” said Alastair Cameron.

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