Almost 500 homes created for homeless people

Sleep in the park crop

​Social Bite's mass sleepout will help fund the new accommodation project

Graham Martin's photo

8th December 2017 by Graham Martin 3 Comments

Two of Scotland’s biggest housing providers have announced they are to commit 475 properties to homeless people.

Around 275 permanent housing association and council homes are to be provided to homeless people in Edinburgh through the EdIndex Partnership, which is made up of representatives from the City of Edinburgh Council and 19 partner registered social landlords.

Wheatley Group, Scotland’s largest housing and care group, has committed to up to 200 homes for rough sleepers in Glasgow and the central belt. 

The homes being provided by each organisation are in addition to their current allocation for homeless people.

With the 10 homes being created at the Social Bite Village in Granton this Spring, the total is taken to just under 500.

A significant amount of funding generated from the Social Bite Sleep in the Park event will go towards funding support for vulnerable people in their new accommodation.

Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, said: “What’s happening here is a real game changer and will allow us to collectively and collaboratively restructure the system. The Housing First model is statistically proven to be the single most effective homelessness intervention that we can do.

“It means that rather than making vulnerable homeless people live in the homelessness system, sleeping in hostels, the streets and B&Bs, we offer them a proper place to call home, and provide a wrap-around and well-resourced support package for them to make sure they sustain that tenancy.

“I would like to thank the range of the organisations involved in EdIndex and Wheatley Group for their bold leadership in tackling this issue. I would also like to thank Edinburgh Council leadership Adam McVey and Cammy Day for having such a strong vision for Edinburgh's most vulnerable people. 

“I would also like to thank our amazing participants of Sleep in the Park for raising so much money. A significant proportion of the money they have raised will be invested to make sure that this commitment to housing is paired with fantastic support.

“We’ll work with a range of Scottish charities and leading minds in housing and homelessness to help map out the support people will require to get back on their feet. We will also work hand in hand with the Scottish Government action group to make sure our approach is joined up with the ongoing work to tackle homelessness.”

Communities Secretary, Angela Constance, said: “Along with ministerial colleagues I am delighted to be able to take part and support Social Bite’s Sleep Out. With over 8,000 people taking part, it shows we all want to see an end to rough sleeping and homelessness and I commend everyone for their fantastic fundraising. 

“The Scottish Government is committed to eradicating rough sleeping which is why we established our Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group, which Social Bite takes part in. We are already implementing their first recommendations to tackle rough sleeping this winter and that work now continues as we strive to end rough sleeping for good.

“The development of the Housing First model is already being delivered in areas of Scotland and has shown great results so far. It is a good example of an innovative scheme to support people who have experienced homelessness, particularly amongst those with more complex needs, and support them into settled accommodation. The Action Group will consider the Housing First approach as part of its commitment to tackling rough sleeping and transforming temporary accommodation.

“I look forward to their final report and we will continue to take action to end homelessness backed by our £50 million ending homelessness fund.”

Martin Armstrong, Wheatley Group chief executive, said: “At Wheatley we are very committed to supporting people who find themselves homeless. We understand how complex an issue rough sleeping can be. We want to play our part in helping tackle that issue, not just through the provision of homes but also by helping provide targeted, personalised support to help individuals rebuild their lives.”

Over 8,000 thousand people have signed up to take part in Sleep in the Park and more than £2.8m has been raised so far. 

Comments

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9th December 2017 by Peter Dow

The Scottish and local governments should be (but disgracefully are often not) providing sufficient finance from their own budgets to provide for the homeless and so charity has kindly to step in where government provision is absent.Thank you for charity but government really should be providing homes for the homeless as a core service.Cuts in core government services are often excused by Scottish government ministers and councillors who try to blame a UK Tory government austerity agenda and cuts in the block grant to Holyrood and cuts in Scottish government funding of local councils.Although certainly the Tories are partners in austerity crime, there is dishonest politics at work in Scotland because the Scottish government, the SNP government, have AGREED a fiscal framework deal with the UK government and therefore have effectively AGREED with the Tory austerity agenda.Although they would deny it, the SNP government is on the record as actually agreeing with austerity!"The Agreement Between the Scottish Government and the United Kingdom Government on the Scottish Governments fiscal framework By Scottish Government, St. Andrews House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG " http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/02/3623

9th December 2017 by Peter Dow

It therefore beggars belief to witness the sheer brass neck of Deputy First Minister John Swinney hypocritically supporting this charity event for the homeless when it was he who negotiated, disgracefully agreed and recommended the bad deal austerity fiscal framework agreement to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for her final approval.The austerity agenda is John Swinney's, Nicola Sturgeon's and the SNP government's own austerity agenda that they signed up to the fiscal framework agreement which underpins austerity, which prevents the Scottish government from borrowing £billions a year more every year interest-free from the central bank to invest in public services, for growth and prosperity, banishing austerity forever.Instead, the really effective way to care would be for us all to demand a new deal fiscal framework, which can only really be expected when the Scottish government finally disowns Swinney's recommendation in February 2016 to accept his negotiated fiscal framework deal with the UK, when finally Swinney's deputy leadership is exposed and recognised as utterly incompetent, hypocritical and a menace to the finances, services and prosperity of the Scots.

9th December 2017 by Peter Dow

It is no excuse at all for Mr Swinney to quote the rotten advice he received from the nutty professor Anton Muscatelli that the fiscal framework was allegedly a good deal. No that bad deal isnt a good deal!Muscatelli is unreliable as an adviser. Swinney was wrong to rely on the unreliable Muscatelli.So Mr Swinney should resign or be sacked as Deputy First Minister.Sadly, there is no other way for Scots to care for the sick and the poor - Swinney must go because he is threatening to make Scrooges of us all and no amount of sleeping out in the cold can salve the conscience of those who are foolishly tolerating such an intolerably inept man as Swinney as Scotland's Deputy First Minister.Shame on Swinney yes but shame on us too if we put up with him for one more night.Other SNP cabinet government peas in the pod who share bad deal fiscal framework culpability are Derek MacKay MSP and Keith Brown MSP who have both failed to correct Mr Swinney's mistakes regarding the fiscal framework.Therefore it falls to me to offer the high quality economics and financial advice which First Minister Sturgeon deserves so that she can put our country on a better path.