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SFHA Responds to Scottish Parliament Call for Evidence on Homelessness

The SFHA has submitted its response to the Scottish Parliament's Local Government and Communities Committee call for evidence regarding homelessness.   

The full SFHA response is available to the right of this article under the downloads section.

SFHA outlines in its response that Housing associations work to prevent homelessness by:

-       supporting tenants with financial advice and support;

-       working to ensure that they receive benefits that they are entitled to;

-       assisting with wider community support, whether run by the housing association themselves or through referrals to other local support networks.

Advice by housing associations has secured millions of pounds in unclaimed benefits which helps tackle poverty and sustain tenancies.  Part of that work is giving tenants access to IT support so that they are able to manage their resources and access advice directly themselves.

Effective action on homelessness also delivers savings by avoiding costs in the NHS such as people being needlessly stuck in hospital through lack of appropriate, accessible accommodation or through the absence of the right care and support in their home.

The SFHA submission draws on examples of best practice by housing associations to provide stable tenancies, prevent tenants from becoming homeless, provide pathways to tenancies for people who have been homeless and provide wider support on issues to do with benefits, financial support, advice on affordable warmth and social support.

SFHA members’ work is both innovative and rooted in local communities. SFHA has invited the Committee if it so wishes to see our members’ work in action and offered to arrange opportunities to see projects aimed at addressing some of the challenges highlighted by the Committee’s questions.

SHFA supported the campaign by Shelter and other stakeholders Homelessness: Not Yet Fixed as we believe that there needs to be a Scottish Government strategy to focus on eradicating homelessness, promoting joint collaborative work to support people moving into new tenancies and sustaining tenancies in the long run.  SFHA also liaised with COSLA and would endorse the key messages highlighted in their submission to the Local Government Committee.

The full SFHA response is available in the downloads section to the right of this article.