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2 July 2015

Stevenson Welcomes Drop in Homelessness in Aberdeenshire

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has welcomed official statistics that show a drop in homelessness figures across Aberdeenshire.

The number of people who are homeless has fallen for the sixth consecutive year, thanks to a national approach to prevention.

Across Aberdeenshire, the number of applications under the Homeless Persons legislation has fallen from 1288 to 1180 between April 2014 and March 2015.

New statistics recording prevention also demonstrate that the Housing Options approach has been the reason for homelessness consistently falling. The number of Prevention Approaches applications has fallen from 195 to 110 between April 2014 and March 2015 in Aberdeenshire.

The role this approach has played in reducing homelessness applications across Scotland has been evidenced through the PREVENT1 recording system.

The figures show that where a person had been referred to the scheme due to a reason involving possible homelessness, only 45 per cent went on to apply as homeless in 2014-15, suggesting that the Housing Options approach may have prevented homelessness for up to 55 per cent of applicants.

Mr Stevenson said:

“These new statistics show that the Housing Options service is responsible for the fall in homelessness applications, and I am delighted that these are falling across Aberdeenshire.

“Housing is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s ambition for a fairer and more prosperous country, and preventing people from experiencing the misery of homelessness is a priority.

“By working across various different services to prevent homelessness happening in the first place, significant progress is being made to reduce the number of people who are homeless in Scotland.”

The Empty Homes scheme was recently launched and the Scottish Government is currently at 90 per cent of their commitment to deliver 30,000 affordable houses during the lifetime of this Parliament. They will also be looking at private rented sector reforms following a countrywide consultation – further helping to prevent homelessness in Scotland.
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