eForum – May 2015 – news from the Scottish Government

Homelessness Statistics

Official homelessness statistics for the quarter October to December 2014, published on 31 March show Scottish Local Authorities received around 7,900 applications for homelessness assistance, 5% lower than in the same period in 2013.  In addition, the number assessed as homeless, or likely to become homeless within two months, also fell by 1% to around 6,800.

For those entitled to settled accommodation, around four out of five secured settled accommodation – including a local authority, housing association or private let as an outcome. This proportion has remained stable for the past seven years.

At 31 December 2014, there were just over 10,200 households in temporary accommodation – an increase of 255 households (+3%) compared to one year earlier. Of these households, about a quarter were households with children. Only five households with children were in bed and breakfast accommodation at the end of the quarter and there was one breach of the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014.

The next publication of homelessness statistics is scheduled for Tuesday 30 June.

Bedroom Tax Mitigation

In 2015/16, the Scottish Government is again making available £35 million, to add to the £13.3 million provided by the DWP, meeting the estimated £44.8 million needed to fullymitigate the impact of the bedroom tax in Scotland, at the same time protecting funding for non-bedroom tax elements of DHPs (those affected by the benefit cap and Local Housing Allowance)

Anyone affected by the bedroom tax who needs help with their housing costs should apply to their local authority for a DHP – even if they have previously applied and were refused one.

Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group

Since the last Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group (HPSG) meeting in February a representative of NHS Health Scotland has now agreed to join the Group and will attend from the meeting held Thursday 21st May.

Hubs Leads Seminar

The most recent meeting of the ‘Housing Options’ Hubs Leads Network which allows representatives from the five regional Local Authority led Housing Options Hubs to come together and share practice, took place on 4 March.

The next Hubs Leads Seminar will be held on Thursday 18 June and will feature presentations from Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum and Scottish Violence Reduction Unit.