Homeless charity welcomes housing announcement ahead of Sleep Out
The Rock Trust has hailed the Scottish Government’s plans to invest an additional £55 million into affordable housing as a “step in the right direction”.
The Local Affordable Rented Housing Trust will provide up to 1,000 affordable homes from the Scottish Government funds along with matched private investment to take the total to £100m.
The Edinburgh charity continually seeks to help the young and homeless in Edinburgh and the Lothians, with a recent Centrepoint report linking homelessness in Scotland and the lack of affordable housing.
In its ‘Beyond Statutory Homelessness’ report, Centrepoint highlighted that 9,800 young people, aged 16-25, per year in Scotland ask for help from their local authorities because they are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Wales and Northern Ireland have a far lower number seeking help, with only 6,800 and 3,800 respectively. England has approximately 130,000.
The Centrepoint report also pointed to a clear connection between a lack of affordable housing and the rate that young people are presenting as homeless.
Kate Polson, chief executive of The Rock Trust, said: “The Scottish Government’s allocation of funds to constructing more affordable housing is a step in the right direction.
“The Centrepoint report clearly shows that Scotland has a huge number of young homeless people for its size and attributes a lack affordable housing to such a figure.
“In the City of Edinburgh the most recent statistics from the Scottish Government show that 3,837 homeless assessments were made in 2014-15 and each year The Rock Trust helps around 400 young people.
“While such investment is very welcome there is still a need to raise awareness of youth homelessness in Scotland as it is an issue that is often swept under the carpet.
“One of our main aims at The Rock Trust is to raise awareness for such an issue and our annual Sleep Out is the biggest event of the year were we’ll have people from across the city sleeping outside for a night.”
The Rock Trust will be holding its annual Sleep Out on 6 November this year to raise funds and awareness for youth homelessness.
The Sleep Out sees participants sleeping outdoors in Edinburgh’s Festival Square for the night in a bid to raise the profile of one of the region’s biggest social issues.