An extra £16 million in funding has been pledged by the Scottish government in support of efforts aimed at tackling problems with homelessness across the country.
The financial backing is being targeted specifically at rapid rehousing initiatives, with the goal being to help ensure people who find themselves in temporary accommodation after having become homeless can be moved quickly into permanent homes.
Local councils across Scotland will be allocated the funds over the next few years, with the hope being that relatively few individuals or families are left stranded in temporary accommodation for extended periods.
The Scottish government has said the £16 million funding boost takes the scale of its financial backing for rapid rehousing teams to £53.5 million.
Although councils and the government are focussing partly on supporting people who are in temporary accommodation, the broader ambition among policymakers is to reduce Scotland’s overall levels of homelessness.
How best to take on the challenge of limiting and preventing homelessness is a subject the government is currently consulting on, with the task being framed as one for which responsibility should be taken across society and not just in Holyrood.
Shona Robison, the government’s housing secretary, has explained that while prevention of homelessness is an overarching goal, funding to support the rapid rehousing of people in temporary accommodation is an important part of the picture.
“Tackling homelessness is about much more than just providing a bed for the night,” Ms Robison said in a statement.
“Temporary accommodation is an important safety net, but most people need a settled place to stay where they can rebuild their lives.
“This new funding will help councils progress their rapid rehousing transition plans to move people as quickly as possible into appropriate, settled accommodation.”
According to the homelessness charity Shelter, there are currently more than 13,000 households in temporary accommodation across Scotland and as many as 1.5 million people living in either overcrowded, dangerous, unstable or unaffordable housing.
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