Councils reach 1,000 Housing First tenancies milestone

Councils have now provided more than 1,000 Housing First tenancies across Scotland, helping tackle homelessness by offering settled homes to those with multiple and complex needs.

Councils reach 1,000 Housing First tenancies milestone

The latest data shows that an estimated 1,031 Housing First tenancies have started across Scotland as at 31 December 2021.

Housing First is aimed at people with high support needs – such as alcohol or drug dependency or significant mental health problems – who are experiencing homelessness. It provides them with settled housing and intensive, individually tailored support.

The Scottish Government has invested £5.5 million since 2019 in the Housing First pathfinder programme, which has worked to set up Housing First schemes in areas with the most people sleeping rough or at risk of doing so. This is part of a £52.5m investment in rapid rehousing, aiming to ensure people spend the shortest amount of time possible in temporary accommodation, giving them a settled place to live as soon as appropriate.

Social justice secretary Shona Robison said: “We know that providing long-term housing to people experiencing homelessness is crucial to helping them rebuild their lives, which is why we’re investing £52.5m in projects that move people on from temporary accommodation as soon as possible.

“Housing First is a key part of that, aimed at people with multiple and complex needs – be that addiction, mental ill health or repeated interactions with the justice system.

“The best way to reduce the number of households in temporary accommodation is to stop homelessness from happening in the first place, which is why we are consulting on plans to place legal duties on public bodies to prevent people losing their homes. This stems from the principle that preventing homelessness should be a shared public responsibility.”

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