Rapid Rehousing funding increased by £9m
An additional £9 million of funding will be provided to local authorities to prevent homelessness and help people into more permanent accommodation.
Part of the Scottish Government’s £50m Ending Homelessness Together fund, the investment will increase the local authority funding being provided for Rapid Rehousing from £15m to £24m over three years.
The Scottish Government said the money will help transform services so people facing homelessness can either immediately, or as quickly as possible, be placed into permanent, stable accommodation with the support they need.
Announcing the funding following a visit to an Aberdeenshire shared accommodation service, housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “Temporary accommodation provides an important safety net in a crisis, but we know it is not the solution.
“The evidence shows what most people need is a settled place to stay where they can rebuild their lives. Where additional support is required, it will be most effective when people are living in a stable home, in mainstream housing.
“This additional funding will help reduce time spent in temporary accommodation and get people experiencing homelessness into appropriate and sustainable housing as quickly as possible.”
Rapid Rehousing was a key recommendation from the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group. The Scottish Government committed £15m to the project back in June 2018 and set out commitments with COSLA in the Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan published in November 2018. Local authorities provided five-year action plans in December 2018 and implementation began in April 2019.
Funding totalling £8m for 2019-20 will be allocated to local authorities according to a distribution formula agreed with COSLA.
Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s communities committee, Cllr Anne Stirling, said: “We are pleased to see some additional funding coming forward to help us tackle homelessness. We are committed to ensuring the right mix of housing options across Aberdeenshire and to reducing poverty and inequality across our communities. Our shared accommodation model helps us to ensure there are temporary affordable housing options for those who need it most.”
COSLA vice president Graham Houston added: “Tackling homelessness is a key issue for Councils across Scotland. We welcome the extra resource to help local authorities begin to move towards Rapid Rehousing. We will continue to work in partnership with the Scottish Government to ensure councils have the resources needed.”