Public believe social housing is best way to tackle homelessness, research finds

Public believe social housing is best way to tackle homelessness, research finds

People in Scotland overwhelmingly recognise that delivering more social housing is the best way to tackle homelessness, according to new research from Shelter Scotland.

A representative survey commissioned by the charity has shown that 62% of people in Scotland believe that funding the construction of social homes is the most effective way to tackle homelessness and improve people’s access to housing.

The news comes as housing minister Paul McLennan prepares to address Scotland’s Housing Festival 2024 today. CIH Scotland opened the festival yesterday by becoming the latest body to declare a housing emergency.

The Scottish Government’s budget was confirmed by Holyrood last week and provoked widespread dismay in the sector, as it slashed funding for social housing with homelessness at record levels.

Shelter Scotland director, Alison Watson, said: “This research clearly shows people in Scotland understand that delivering more social housing is absolutely essential in the fight against homelessness.

“A lack of social homes is the root cause of Scotland’s housing emergency, but the Scottish Government continues to ignore the structural issues which have broken our housing system in favour of other policies that it knows simply won’t be anywhere near as effective as delivering social homes.

“The latest figures show that record numbers are trapped in the homelessness system, because there simply aren’t the social homes to give them the security and stability they need.

“Now, the Chartered Institute of Housing has also declared a housing emergency; Scotland’s housing professionals are uniting to send a message to both the UK and Scottish Governments.

“There was complete dismay across the housing sector in the wake of the Scottish Government’s enormous 26% cut to funding for social homes and it’s clear from this research that same sense of dismay will be felt in communities right across the country.

“People are crying out for our politicians at every level of government to tackle homelessness and the housing emergency, they know that social housing is key to that, and they won’t put up with inaction any longer.”

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