Crisis launches Manifesto to End Homelessness in Scotland
21.03.2017 461 XX
Crisis is today launching a Manifesto to End Homelessness - a series of recommendations for the next Scottish Government to follow in its continued fight against homelessness.
The manifesto has now been endorsed by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Alex Neil, while Scottish Labour and the Scottish Conservatives have also expressed their support. Crisis is urging all parties to officially include the recommendations in their election manifestos.
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:
“Recent years have seen Scotland blaze a trail in the battle against homelessness, but this is no time for complacency. That’s why we’re launching this manifesto; it will act as a blueprint for the next Scottish Government to maintain momentum and build on what has already been achieved.
“Despite the extension of rights, homelessness is increasingly visible on the streets of Scotland; we need to get better at prevention and develop a truly cross-departmental strategy that mitigates recent cuts to local authority budgets and social security.
“We warmly welcome the cross-party support our manifesto has received - it signals the vital, ongoing commitment that fighting this devastating social injustice needs. We look forward to working with all parties to continue this fight following the election in May.”
Since abolishing priority need in 2012, when all unintentionally homeless people in Scotland were given the right to ‘settled housing’, official statistics have shown a fall in the number of people making statutory homelessness applications.
However, the number of people coming to their council because they are homeless or threatened with homelessness has remained static, while increasing pressures on the supply of affordable homes and cuts to benefits are leaving more and more homeless people stuck in temporary housing, often for months at a time.
Recent research by Crisis also highlights the growing complexity of homeless people’s needs. Some have several experiences of homelessness before they approach their council for support, while 61% of single homeless people have four or more support needs, with mental health issues and substance dependency prevalent among them.
Meanwhile, there is still progress to be made in preventing homelessness in the first instance. Further Crisis research shows intervening at an early stage can make savings of between £3,000 and £18,000 per person in the first year, particularly for health and criminal justice services. This compares to a typical cost of a homeless intervention of around £1,500.
That’s why Crisis is today launching its manifesto to end homelessness.
The five-point manifesto calls on all political parties to:
- Adopt a new cross-departmental strategy for tackling homelessness
- Commit to investing in a more proactive approach to prevention
- Increase support for homeless people with complex needs
- Time limit Temporary Accommodation
- Commit to using devolved powers on social security to prevent homelessness