£16mln funding to move Scots out of temporary accommodation

temporary accommodation

The cash will help fund the concept of ‘rapid rehousing’ which speeds up the process of finding permanent accommodation for those who declare themselves homeless

Councils will be handed an extra £16 million by the Scottish Government over the next two years in a bid to reduce the number of families living in temporary accommodation.

The cash, which will be split between all 32 local authorities, will help fund the concept of ‘rapid rehousing’ which speeds up the process of finding permanent accommodation for those who declare themselves homeless.

But Scottish Labour described the funding as ‘a drop in the ocean’ and nowhere near enough the amount required to get to grips with the issue.

The number of households with children or pregnant women living in temporary housing in Scotland hit a 10-year high of 3,645 last year.

At the end of March 2021 there were 13,097 households in temporary accommodation – a rise of 47 per cent on the figure in 2014.

The Scottish Government said its total investment in rapid rehousing was now £53.5 million, and included an investment of £6.5 million in the Housing First pathfinder to support people with complex needs.

Housing Secretary Shona Robison said: Tackling homelessness is about much more than just providing a bed for the night.

Temporary accommodation is an important safety net, but most people need a settled place to stay where they can rebuild their lives, she said.

Rapid rehousing is based around the idea that most people need a settled home – and this new funding will help councils progress their rapid rehousing transition plans to move people as quickly as possible into appropriate, settled accommodation, she said.

She said: The best way to reduce the number of households in temporary accommodation is to prevent homelessness from happening in the first place, and today’s announcement follows the recent publication of our consultation on plans for new legal duties on public bodies, highlighting the shared public responsibility to prevent homelessness in Scotland.

Mark Griffin, Scottish Labour’s housing spokesman, said: The number of families in temporary accommodation in Scotland is at a 10-year high.

He said: On average a couple with a child stays in temporary accommodation for 341 days, but in some parts of Scotland it is as many as 865 days.

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