Strategic partnership to reinforce social housing sector’s role in tackling homelessness

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and Homeless Network Scotland (HNS) have today announced they will be forming a strategic partnership with the aim of strengthening the social housing sector’s role in tackling homelessness.

Strategic partnership to reinforce social housing sector’s role in tackling homelessness

The partnership will include joint lobbying on mutual areas of interest and test-of-change projects to scope new approaches to tackling homelessness.

The SFHA will also be involved in the design and delivery of a new national framework by HNS, to start up, scale up and integrate Housing First to tackle multiple disadvantage while post-COVID support guidance, options and tools will be established to help test new ideas that prevent homelessness and create housing capacity and choice.

As part of the arrangement, SFHA members will have automatic access to the benefits of Homeless Network Scotland’s full membership category as well as HNS quarterly homelessness policy and practice briefings.

Sally Thomas, SFHA chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be working more closely with Homeless Network Scotland. Scotland’s housing associations and co-operatives already play a key role in tackling and preventing homelessness by providing affordable housing, tenancy sustainment support, and financial and welfare rights services.

“Through this partnership, we can ensure that social housing providers further strengthen the work they do, in order to achieve the shared ambition of ending homelessness in Scotland.”

Maggie Brünjes, chief executive of Homeless Network Scotland, said: “This strategic partnership with SFHA is very important to us. Our organisations share common values and approaches which overlap with a shared objective to resolve homelessness.

“The timing is also right to formalise this partnership. Housing ends homelessness, and a housing-led recovery will help us move forward from current emergency measures to mitigate against the worst impacts of the pandemic on homelessness in Scotland.

“No one wants to see people return to unsuitable temporary accommodation or rough sleeping. This will need us all to do more. While it will need a shift in homeless systems and provision, it also needs more social and affordable housing, especially in parts of Scotland where supply does not meet demand. I know this formal partnership between our organisations can help further that aim.”

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