Senior Scottish council housing officers agree homelessness is ‘Far From Fixed’

John Mills, vice chair of ALACHO, and Fiona King, campaigns and public affairs manager at Shelter Scotland
John Mills, vice chair of ALACHO, and Fiona King, campaigns and public affairs manager at Shelter Scotland

Scotland’s senior housing officers are backing a charity campaign calling for more action to prevent homelessness.

The Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO) has chosen Scottish Housing Day today to announce its support for Shelter Scotland’s Homelessness: Far From Fixed campaign.

Shelter Scotland launched the campaign 12 months ago to highlight the loss of momentum in reducing homelessness.

It emphasised that the number of people applying for help with homelessness was no longer falling as fast as before and that families were staying in temporary accommodation for long periods of time.

In its first year the campaign has won the backing of thousands of people, five of the six political parties represented in the Scottish Parliament and recently saw homelessness take a high profile position in the Programme for Government.

John Mills, vice chair of ALACHO, said: “Working with the Scottish Government and others we have made huge progress to reduce homelessness over the past 10 years but the rate of progress has slowed. Welfare reform coupled with low wage growth and continued rent and house price rises mean that too many people are finding it hard to find and keep they home they need.

“The Scottish Government’s recently published Programme for Government includes a new commitment to end rough sleeping and other measures to reduce homelessness. We’re delighted to hear this and we are looking forward to working with the housing minister, his officials, Shelter Scotland and other organisations to deliver these commitments.”

Graeme Brown, director Shelter Scotland, said: “To have the support of ALACHO is tremendously important to Shelter Scotland. Its members and the staff who work for them see every day the harm that our shortage of affordable housing is causing to individuals and families.

“We clearly have the attention of the Scottish Government and thank everyone who has signed up to our campaign to get us this far. The campaign isn’t over but we are making progress.”

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