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Highland Life / News / Highland Council News / New team to tackle homelessness in the Highlands

New team to tackle homelessness in the Highlands

Issued: 16 Sep 2010

The Highland Council is to establish a dedicated team to reduce the growing number of homeless individuals and families in the Highlands.

The move by the Housing and Social Work Committee aims to help the Council meet the target set by the Scottish Government to ensure that all unintentionally homeless people have access to permanent housing by 2012.

Most recent figures highlight that at any time there are around 1,300 households in temporary accommodation and that 2,300 homeless applications are being received each year.

At the same time, 53% of all social rent housing allocations are to homeless households.

The homeless team will be based in the Council's Housing and Property Service and will come from within existing resources, such as accommodation officers and those staff with an existing remit for homelessness.

Their role will be to offer housing options advice and adopt a preventative approach, including engagement with the private rented sector. At the same time the Council has developed a new approach for assessing and planning to meet the housing needs of the small proportion of homeless people who have multiple or complex needs, such as alcohol or substance misuse. This approach involves working more closely with partner agencies to assess, plan and engage with these clients in order to prevent homelessness.

Councillor Margaret Davidson, Chairman of the Housing and Social Work Committee, said: "The formation of the team, together with other measures, are aimed at improving the way we deal with homelessness to reduce assessments and provide more effective services for clients with multiple/complex needs. Hopefully, this will reduce the number of people presenting as homeless and get more people into decent homes "

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme