Prevention strategy credited with driving down Edinburgh homelessness

Cllr Cammy Day
Cllr Cammy Day

Edinburgh has a smaller proportion of rough sleepers than any other city in Scotland, according to new figures released by the Scottish Government.

Local authority figures have credited a successful partnership with third sector organisations and a focus on prevention for reducing homelessness in the capital by 15 per cent over the past five years.

The council’s early intervention approach has seen commissioned services help over 7,500 people to find new homes as quickly as possible and provide support to help them keep their homes.

Less than 3 per cent of people in Edinburgh are classed as rough sleepers.

Cllr Cammy Day, housing leader on City of Edinburgh Council, said: “These statistics are extremely encouraging and a tremendous achievement, not just for the Council but for our partners in the third sector who work tirelessly to support homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless.

“While there is still much to be done, it is clear that Edinburgh’s homelessness strategy is helping us to move in the right direction and delivering real results. All of this has been achieved despite a challenging economic climate and significant budget pressures.

“We have invested over £14 million this financial year to fund third sector support services and around another £11 million on our own prevention services. Protecting vulnerable people will continue to be our key priority and we are committed to reducing homelessness further across Edinburgh.”

Iain Gordon, chief executive of Bethany Christian Trust and chair of the Strategic Homeless Action Partnership in Edinburgh (SHAPE) said: “It is encouraging to see indications that the number of people presenting as homeless in the city is reducing.

“A great deal of work has been done by third sector organisations and the Council in recent years to address some of the root causes of homelessness as well as the distress that homelessness brings to the lives of some of the city’s most vulnerable people.

“SHAPE remains keen to work with the Council to address increases in the level of support required by those who find themselves homeless and in the prevalence of repeat homelessness.”

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