Councils across Scotland are to be given extra funding of £16m to help tackle homelessness.
The funding, to be awarded over the next two financial years, is aimed at helping move people swiftly from temporary accommodation into settled homes.
It will take the Scottish Government’s investment in rapid rehousing, which seeks to ensure that people spend the shortest amount of time possible in temporary accommodation, to a total of £53.5m.
Statistics published last year indicated an increase in the number of homeless people dying in Scotland.
Figures by the National Records of Scotland showed that 256 people died whilst homeless in 2020 – a rise of 40 deaths when compared to the previous year.
Over half of the deaths (151) were drug related, with no deaths where the underlying cause was Covid-19.
A total of 8% were due to circulatory diseases, such as heart disease and stroke, with 5% due to cancers.
Scotland’s housing secretary Shona Robison outlined the importance of people having a settled place to stay.
“Tackling homelessness is about much more than just providing a bed for the night,” said Robison.
“Temporary accommodation is an important safety net, but most people need a settled place to stay where they can rebuild their lives.
“Rapid rehousing is based around the idea that most people need a settled home, and this new funding will help councils progress their Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans to move people as quickly as possible into appropriate, settled accommodation.”
She added: “The best way to reduce the number of households in temporary accommodation is to prevent homelessness from happening in the first place.
“And today’s announcement follows the recent publication of our consultation on plans for new legal duties on public bodies, highlighting the shared public responsibility to prevent homelessness in Scotland.”