Plan launched to tackle homelessness

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Ending homelessness in the area and minimising stays in temporary accommodation is the goal for South Ayrshire Council’s new Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan 2019-224.

In 2017/18, the council received 761 applications for assistance under homelessness legislation and with applications on the rise the new plan aims to reverse that trend.

The reasons why people become homeless are varied but in 2017/18, the majority of people looking for support experienced a relationship breakdown or a dispute within their household.

Under the proposals – subject to Scottish Government funding - training will be given to council staff so they can help prevent homelessness before households reach the point of crisis. Young people who have been in care will get accommodation appropriate to their needs and partnership working will encourage early interventions.

The new plan also includes research into why some people in find themselves homeless time and time again.

In cases where homelessness can’t be prevented, a ’Rapid Rehousing’ approach will be adopted, accommodation being provided in a community setting with appropriate levels of support as quickly as possible. For people with the most complex needs and experience of repeat homelessness, the ‘Housing First’ approach will be applied - providing accommodation in the community coupled with access to specialist, wraparound support to minimise the chances of the person becoming homeless again.

South Ayrshire councillor Philip Saxton, said: “South Ayrshire does not have a big homeless problem compared to other areas, but even one person without a roof over their head is one too many.

“There is a clear link between poor health and homelessness which is why we are working closely with the Health and Social Care Partnership to make sure people get the support they need as well as the appropriate housing.”

“This plan gives us a clear pathway to ending homelessness in South Ayrshire once and for all.”

“We will never be able to intervene in every family breakup but what we can do is work with our partners to provide safe, community based accommodation and support to help people get back on their feet.”