Preventative approach to homelessness bears fruit in Dundee

John Alexander
John Alexander

The number of homeless people in Dundee has fallen by almost half in the past six years, thanks to a massive drive to keep people in their own homes.

Dundee City Council’s housing convener John Alexander said the drop was mainly due to a focus on preventative measures.

He told the Evening Telegraph: “Our approach is a person-centred one with prevention and proactive action the key to assisting those who find themselves in often difficult circumstances.”

A new report on homelessness in Dundee reveals that since 2008/09 homeless applications have fallen by 46 per cent, ahead of the national average of 36 per cent.

The figures show that the number of single homeless people has dropped from 1,492 to 982; single homeless parents have dropped from 737 to 287; homeless couples are down from 148 to 77 while homeless couples with children are down from 172 to 78.

Mr Alexander said that the housing options scheme was a multi-agency project, which provided tailored support and advice for people in housing need.

He added: “The one-stop-shop service brings together partners from housing, social work and health to find a tailored solution for people to give them support to stay in their own home.

“The support includes mediation services, money advice service, debt and legal advice, access to employability and advocacy. There are inevitably those that go through the “revolving door” of homelessness due to complex issues such as mental health and due to this find it difficult to maintain tenancy.”

Mr Alexander said that a lot of good work was being done in Dundee in both the public and voluntary sector to adapt services to help the city’s homeless.

He added: “There are a multitude of reasons that people find themselves homeless.

“Most often or not, I hear people talk about drug and alcohol misuse but that is rarely the reason that people become homeless or find themselves in that situation.

“The three highest reasons that people state when they make a homeless application is that they were asked to leave, a dispute or relationship breakdown or the termination of tenancy or mortgage.”

Mr Alexander said that the council used a range of temporary accommodation options to assist homeless people.


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