Rise in applications for Glasgow homelessness assistance

by Darren Gibson

The amount of homelessness assistance applications made in Glasgow increased by 11 per cent between January and September 2019, new government figures have revealed.

There were 5,873 applications made during that time period, an increase of 599 from the same time period the year before. South Lanarkshire was second to Glasgow in the amount of applications made, with 168 applications – an increase of 9 per cent. The Perth and Kinross area saw the largest amount of reductions in applications, with a decrease of 24 per cent.

Scotland’s largest city also scored one of the lowest percentages for the amount of unintentionally homeless who were able to secure settled accommodation between April and September 2019 – just shy of 75 per cent. Dundee and Edinburgh councils managed to secure settled accommodation for almost 90 per cent of applications. 

Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart MSP, commenting on the figures, said: “One person being made homeless is one too many, particularly in households which include children. That is why we are working in partnership with local government, people with lived experience and frontline services to transform services to support those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. 

“We want to ensure our systems do all they can to prevent homelessness – and when it does happen, ensure there is a strong support system available to people so they can move into settled accommodation quickly.

“That is why the Scottish Government has invested £32.5 million into Rapid Rehousing and Housing First to prioritise permanent, settled accommodation, as the first response to minimise the length of time people spend in temporary accommodation. 

“We also changed the Unsuitable Accommodation Order in 2014 so that families with children and pregnant women are only able to stay in accommodation, such as B&Bs, for a maximum of seven days.”

Across the whole country, 18,645 applications were made for homelessness assistance between April and September 30, 2019, a decrease of two per cent, but no loss or gain over the whole year compared to the previous year.

The most common reason given by those seeking help was that they were “asked to leave”, which made up a total 24 per cent of applications. The second most common reason was “non-violent dispute within the household and/or a relationship breakdown”, which made up 18 per cent of applications. And the third most common reason given was a violent or abusive dispute inside the household – 13 per cent of applications.

Further information can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/homelessness-scotland-update-30-september-2019/

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