Rough sleeping a “national shame”


Conference told homelessness has to end 

16th November 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Rough sleeping is a national shame and more urgency and commitment is needed to tackle Scotland’s housing crisis.

A homeless conference in Glasgow heard calls for a “concerted and on-going national commitment" to end the country’s homeless crisis.   

Homeless Action Scotland, which organised the conference, led the calls for tougher action.   

Chief executive Gavin Yates said: “Scotland is at a crossroads in terms of its willingness to tackle homelessness in all of its many forms. I think public opinion is firmly on the side of action and both civil society and politicians are starting to address the fundamental issues of poverty, disadvantage, housing supply and support.

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackling both rough sleeping and reform of temporary accommodation and we have been involved in discussions on both already."

However, with both a UK budget and a Scottish budget to be announced before the end of year long-term investment was needed, said Yates.  

He added: “There needs to be a national consensus to drive the progress we all wish to see and to really achieve the result for the people we serve.”

Housing minister Kevin Stewart, who recently announced new funding over five years to tackle rough sleeping and a reform of temporary accommodation, said: “Tackling and preventing homelessness is a key government priority which is why we recently established a Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group.

"This will work to end rough sleeping and transform the use of temporary accommodation.

“And to drive that change and improvement we have established a £50 million Ending Homelessness Together Fund.

“We are determined to achieve a national objective to eradicate rough sleeping, and Homeless Action Scotland is an important partner in helping achieve that. 

Stewart said Scotland has some of the strongest rights for homeless people in the world but said he recognised that it requires more than just the provision of housing to tackle the problem. 

“That can only be achieved through joint working," he said. "I am delighted to work with a range of partners to effect change and tackling the underlying causes of homelessness, and prevent it before it occurs.”