SFHA: ‘Support needs’ are a mandate for further investment
The publication of the latest ‘Homelessness in Scotland’ statistics highlight an “alarming need” for support for many of the most vulnerable people across the country, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has warned.
The figures, which were published last week, show that almost half of all households assessed as homeless have one or more support needs.
Representing over 14,500 households, around half cited a mental health problem as requiring support. Around the same proportion specified support needs for basic housing management independent living.
Just under a quarter highlighted they needed support for drug or alcohol dependency.
Zhan McIntyre, SFHA policy lead, said: “These statistics highlight the alarming need for support for many of the most vulnerable people across Scotland. Reducing budgets for housing support and community mental health budgets has brought us to a situation where over half the people experiencing homelessness have at least one support need. This is putting tenancies at risk and overwhelming dedicated yet stretched housing officers.
“The number of people identifying a support need is surely a mandate for further investment in housing support and community mental health teams by Health and Social Care Partnerships across Scotland. Without further investment, the transition to Rapid Rehousing and homelessness prevention could be in real jeopardy.”