Team to tackle homelessness

Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee met recently and endorsed the authority’s plans to establish a homelessness prevention team.

A proposal was made to the council’s ‘Invest to Save Fund’, to establish a

homeless prevention team and this was approved by councillors at a meeting of the full council on February 9.

The Social Work and Housing Committee has now endorsed the prevention actions and staffing model.

This will allow the council to deploy a range of measures and head of housing Douglas Edwardson advised members that these would bring benefits to the authority not only financially, but socially too.

Statistics show that from 2008/9 to 2010/11 homelessness presentations in Aberdeenshire have increased by 14% against the national Scottish trend of a 4% reduction.

The committee heard that the impact of the Welfare Reform Bill may also lead to future increases in homelessness presentations by another 5% by 2013.

Demographic and economic factors in Aberdeenshire have influenced the number of homeless applications the authority receives.