Homeless rate in Aberdeen drops 56%

Homeless: The scheme has reduced the number of homeless people by 62%.
Homeless: Reductions were recorded in 28 of Scotland's 32 councils.© STV

The number of people being made homeless in Aberdeen dropped dramatically last year, according to official figures.

Scottish Government statistics showed there were 23,796 homeless applications to local authorities between April and September 2011, a 20% decrease compared with the same period the previous year.

Reductions were recorded in 28 of Scotland's 32 councils, with Aberdeen and the Borders both recording a fall of 56%.

The figure represents the lowest number of applications in a decade.

The Council's housing and environment convener, Councillor Aileen Malone, said: “These are very encouraging statistics that show that we are making great progress. I would like to thank all the officers for all their hard work in helping to achieve this reduction.

“This decrease in applications is a direct consequence of the manner in which we have changed how we help households approaching us for assistance.

“Over the past few years we have developed more services in which our staff assist households to consider the range of options available to address their housing needs, including preventing homelessness.

“Coupled with this we have invested in a new build programme, including the first mainstream-social housing built in the city in three generations. This long-term commitment to addressing homelessness in Aberdeen will continue next year with £1.27m allocated in the non-housing capital programme for 2012/13 on turning Victoria House into temporary homeless accommodation.

“These latest statistics are a major step forward in dealing with homelessness but we must not be complacent and must continue to explore different ways of dealing with homelessness so we can deliver a service that benefits those in need.”

Aberdeen Donside MSP Brian Adam said: “Aberdeen City Council is to be congratulated for achieving a 56% reduction in the number of people being made homeless in the city.

“I know that staff at the council are working hard to prevent homelessness by addressing the problems before the situation reaches that stage.

“The Scottish Government will continue to work with local authorities to tackle homelessness by building more social and council housing and helping residents stay in their current homes.”

Charity Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown, was also pleased with the figures. He said: "A 20% reduction in homeless applications compared to this time last year is great news and I congratulate the majority of local authorities across Scotland who have made huge progress on homelessness.

"This success should not blind us to the scale of Scotland's ongoing housing crisis.

"Nearly 50,000 people still presented as homeless in the last 12 months, so this progress needs to be a catalyst for even greater change."

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