Council Praised by Shelter Scotland
Monday 2nd July 2012
Clackmannanshire Council were this week warmly praised by Shelter Scotland for achieving an 7% reduction in the number of homelessness applications made to the local authority in the last year.,
The Scottish Government's latest homelessness statistics show that Clackmannanshire Council is assessing 88% of homeless applications as priority need - with six months to go until the legislation comes in to force.
Welcoming the new figures published, Housing Committee Convenor, Councillor Les Sharp, said: "Clackmannanshire Council continues to work towards the challenge faced by all Local Authorities by the end of the year and a number of initiatives are underway to help us meet our targets.
"As a Council, we continually look to innovative ideas to take all Housing issues forward, including homelessness, we are working hard to overcome the challenges set by the national economic and Welfare Reform agendas.
John Gillespie, Head of Community and Regulatory Service, went on: "Clackmannanshire Council is confident that it will meet the Scottish Government's challenging 2012 targets by the end of this year.
"The Council has worked hard to reduce the incidence of homelessness in Clackmannanshire with the result that the number of people making homeless applications to the Council has fallen by almost 39% since its peak in 2005/6."
The Council are already making preparation to ensure the council is prepared to deliver Scotland's historic 2012 homelessness reforms.
Mr Gillespie added: "The continuing economic difficulties faced by the community combined with the Government's welfare reform agenda will undoubtedly increase pressures upon the Housing service in future years and plans are currently being developed to address these new demands."
Shelter Scotland says Clackmannanshire Council has done well to reduce the number of homelessness applications but says more work must be done to prepare for the 2012 reforms which will see an end to the current system where only those people deemed to be in 'priority need' have the right to a home.
The Homelessness Act passed in 2003 effectively extends the right to a home to single homeless people and couples without children who previously had few housing rights.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness
charity said: "Clackmannanshire Council has done well to reduce the number of homeless
applications by 7%. However, with only six months to go until the change in legislation the council must do more to prepare for the reforms and deliver its duty to homeless people.
"The 2012 homelessness commitment is not a choice, it is a legal requirement. We urge Clackmannanshire Council to look ahead and ensure its homelessness services are ready for the post-2012 era."