New law to provide homeless with shelter

All people facing homelessness through no fault of their own will have a right to settled accommodation from the end of this year.

Scotland’s historic 2012 homelessness commitment will be met and in force from December 31 following Parliamentary approval today for changes in the law.

This means that all councils across Scotland will have to provide settled accommodation to anyone who is unintentionally homelessness. Currently that right only applies to certain groups identified as being in priority need, such as families with dependent children.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “This is a significant moment in our efforts to tackle homelessness in Scotland. In enshrines in law the clear principle that anyone who loses their home through no fault of their own is entitled to settled accommodation.

“That was the target set, and today’s vote means it will be achieved from December 31st. From helping those who have been through losing their home, I know it is a hugely distressing and destabilising experience. In Scotland we have been clear that people who lose their home through no fault of their own must be helped through what is a time of crisis.

“They now have that right written into law. Local authorities, their partners and the Scottish Government have worked closely to ensure that the 2012 homelessness target is achievable. This has meant focussing efforts on prevention, so less people are actually reaching the point of homelessness.”