Praise for 2012 homelessness Commitment
Stirling Council has been congratulated by Shelter Scotland for being one of the first local authorities in Scotland to meet the historic 2012 homelessness commitment – with ten months still to go until the new legislation comes in to force.
The Council is one of nine local authorities to have already met the historic commitment ahead of time by abolishing priority need assessments, in effect giving every unintentionally homeless person in Stirling the legal right to a home.
The changes have seen an end to the current system where only those people deemed to be in ‘priority need’ previously had the right to a home.
The Act passed in 2003 effectively extends the right to a home to single homeless people and couples without children. For the last nine years Scotland’s 32 local authorities have been preparing for the changes.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland congratulated Stirling Council on their commitment in preparing for the historic reforms during a recent visit to the city, said: “The 2012 commitment is internationally regarded as the cutting edge of progressive homelessness reform and Stirling Council can be very proud that it is leading the way in making history.
“I congratulate the council on its continued focus, on meeting its responsibilities to homeless people and in its early preparedness for the reforms. In already having effective policies and practices in place, the council has ensured itself a smooth transition, meaning key resources such as temporary accommodations won’t experience a sudden increase in demand.
“This achievement marks a new beginning for the Council and the way it treats homeless people. It is a huge step towards eradicating homelessness not only in Stirling, but Scotland as a whole.”
Stirling Council's Housing Portfolio Holder Councillor Alasdair MacPherson said: "Stirling Council is justly proud of what it has achieved and the effort that staff across the Housing Service and our voluntary sector partners have put in to help us abolish the priority need test a year ahead of schedule.
"We also know there is more to do. In particular we need to get better at supporting people who are vulnerable or those with particularly challenging lifestyles. We also understand the concerns of local communities that feel homelessness is now the only route to an affordable rented home.
“The next steps will be to offer better and more appropriate choices to all applicants and to grow the supply of affordable housing. That challenge starts now.”
Photo Shows: Director of Shelter Scotland Graeme Brown, (centre) on his recent visit to Stirling to meet with Councillor Alasdair MacPherson (left) and the Council’s Head of Housing Tony Cain (right)