The Scottish Government published its Ending Homelessness Together: High Level Action Plan on 27th November in which it sets out how it intends to end homelessness in 5 years.
The plan commits to rapid rehousing and greatly reducing the use of temporary accommodation. The important role of housing support is acknowledged although supported housing features very little in the plan. For people with support needs, the Housing First model is being promoted. The Scottish Government is commited to spending £6.5m over the next 3 years on Housing First in 5 cities (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling).
More generally, the plan sets how a new Ending Homelessness Together Fund will support its overall ambition. This will provide £2m for local authorities to adopt a rapid rehousing approach with a further £15m will be allocated on the basis the local plans currently being developed.
Local Authorities are required to develop Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans by the end of December 2018 as a first step to setting out how they will move away from temporary housing. Their plans for supporting people with housing support needs are expected to be included in these plans.
The prevention of homelessness is a key strand of the plan and the Scottish Government will be working with registered social landlords to support housing sustainment with a view to applying a similar approach in the private rented sector. Related to this is the intention to identify people who are at risk of homelessness and focus preventative activity accordingly. This approach will be informed by the evidence that has been developed about the relationship between Adverse Childhood Events and homelessness.
The Unit, in conjunction with Cosla and the Simon Community Scotland, recently brought together staff from the voluntary sector, housing associations and local authorities to discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead. There was a consensus that the voluntary sector and housing associations as well as health and social care partners all need to be engaged at a local level with local authorities as they develop the Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans. John Mills, speaking on behalf of the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers, advised those that have not already been approached to take part in discussions to get in touch with your local Chief Housing Officer. You can view a briefing from the event.
If you wish to discuss this topic with the Unit please contact Yvette Burgess at firstname.lastname@example.org