Before Christmas, I signed Shelter Scotland’s Christmas Emergency 2012 “letter to Santa” calling on the Scottish Government to introduce better standards for temporary accommodation. It’s a pledge that I was pleased to sign and will continue to keep a keen interest throughout the year.
Jean Urquhart MSP welcomed figures released this week indicating that homelessness applications have fallen by 40% in the Highland Council area over the last year.
Figures released by the Scottish Government have revealed that applications for homelessness have decreased in 30 of the 32 local authorities, with Orkney Islands Council, Shetland Islands Council, Argyll and Bute Council and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar all also posting reductions since 2010-11.
Ms Urquhart, SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands and a former member of Highland Council, said:
“Working to put in place as many safety nets as possible to prevent individuals from becoming homeless has to be one of our top priorities.
“These figures demonstrate the positive impact of the SNP’s Scottish Housing Options Approach Scheme, particularly when it is implemented alongside local authority initiatives as has been the case in the Highlands.
“The SNP is dedicated to ensuring that our target of all unintentionally homeless people are entitled to settled accommodation by the end of 2012.
“When compared to the swingeing and indiscriminate welfare benefit cuts being imposed by Westminster, it is clear that Scotland is best served when decisions are 100% taken by those it elects.”