Grants of £1.65m for projects which help homeless and vulnerable people

Kevin Stewart
Kevin Stewart

Organisations that work with homeless people and give housing support to vulnerable are to benefit from £1.65 million of Scottish Government grant funding.

The Housing Sector Voluntary Grant Scheme helps third sector organisations to deliver housing-related projects and services.

The 2017/18 allocation will benefit 17 different organisations whose work includes helping older and disabled people to live independently, improving access to housing for homeless people and supporting refugee, asylum seekers and new migrant communities.

Among the successful applicants is Housing Options Scotland which has been given £248,000 to provide housing advice to disabled people, older people and veterans.

Move On, a charity that supports young people affected by homelessness, has been awarded £25,000 for a peer support and education project.

Kevin Stewart, minister for local government and housing, said: “It is a sad fact that many of Scotland’s most vulnerable people are faced with anxiety over their housing situation and the possible threat of homelessness.

“The Scottish Government recognises the role that third sector organisations play in helping people who find themselves in housing need. Some of these projects are small in scale, but the benefits they bring to the individuals concerned are tremendous.

“I’m delighted that, through the recent draft budget settlement, we have been able to invest in vital projects and organisations that can be a lifeline for so many across Scotland.”

Moira Bayne, chief executive of Housing Options Scotland, said: “Everyone at Housing Options Scotland is delighted by the vote of confidence shown in us by the Scottish Government. We helped nearly 700 disabled people, older people and disabled veterans in 2016 and thanks to the generous financial support of the Scottish Government we can do even more in 2017.”

John Hinton, executive director of Move On, added: “This is wonderful news. On-going support from the Scottish Government at a time when resources are scarce is particularly welcome. We are delighted that through this grant scheme, the Scottish Government has decided to invest in our preventative and peer-led approaches, emphasising the vital role which homeless people can play themselves in delivering solutions to address homelessness.”

Shelter Scotland, which received an award of £183,868 for its Scottish Housing Law Service, said the funding will enable the service to continue supporting people facing bad housing and homelessness who otherwise would have no legal representation.

Alison Watson, deputy director of Shelter Scotland, said: “From representing people facing eviction and ensuring local authorities deliver their statutory duties for homeless people to providing housing law advice and advocating for people in court, our law service fights on the side of hundreds of households a year – many with children – to help them assert their rights and in many cases keep their homes.

“Times are tough right now and every day we hear from people who are living on a knife edge, overwhelmed by the increasing pressure of sky-high housing costs. Every day there are more calls to our free national helpline, dozens of people using our digital chat service and thousands of visits to our online advice pages – and our housing law service plays a vital role in providing expert legal advice to help keep a roof over the heads of people facing the worst of times.”

The full list of successful applicants is as follows.

  • Age Scotland, £115,500. Local delivery of older people’s housing strategy, provision of advice on housing and fuel poverty.
  • CRISIS, £53,993. Funding a part time project officer, and to support work in private rented sector.
  • Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living, £70,000. Maintenance of national accessible Housing register.
  • Homeless Action Scotland, £168,000. To contribute to the prevention of homelessness.
  • Housing Options Scotland, £248,000. Three separate projects: Right House in the Right Place, Military Matters, and the Peer Support Project.
  • Housing Support Enabling Unit, £116,000. To assist housing support providers in the voluntary sector, Registered Social Landlords and private sector providers.
  • Legal Services Agency, £43,944. To provide legal advice and representation at court for those threatened with repossession, and to give advice and training to other agencies on repossessions legislation.
  • Move On, £25,000. To provide advice and information to young people in order to prevent homelessness.
  • PATH Scotland, £85,750. Training and Education Programme for BME/Refugee communities plus mentoring and coaching programme.
  • Positive Action in Housing, £53,000. A casework service to provide advice and information to people from BME, refugee, asylum seeker and new migrant communities.
  • SAY Women, £64,830. Increase awareness of the needs of survivors of childhood sexual abuse amongst housing and secondary providers’ staff.
  • Scottish Housing Law Service, £183,868. To provide access to specialist legal expertise and representation on housing issues.
  • Scottish Homelessness Involvement Empowerment Network, £49,359. To build capacity.
  • Scottish Churches Housing Action, £59,000. Capacity-building service, to make the most of volunteers in tackling problems of homelessness at a local level.
  • Scottish Refugee Council, £132,000. Project to assist new refugees in to rebuild their lives in Scotland.
  • Scottish Women’s Aid, £72,345. Specialist domestic abuse housing support.
  • Tenants Information Service/Tenant Participation Advisory Service, £109,000. Partnership project to provide a range of services to support tenant empowerment.
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