NORTH Lanarkshire has witnessed a rise in the number of people assessed as homeless in the local authority area, said Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess MSP, who announced the figures earlier this week.
Official statistics show that there were 10,269 applications for homelessness assistance between July and September 2012 – down 13 per cent from 11,604 in the same period the previous year, across Scotland.
However, in North Lanarkshire, there were 584 applications for homelessness assistance between July and September 2012 – up 2% from 571 in the same period, the previous year.
The Figures, however, show that the annual average has fallen by 612, in 2010 to 588 last year.
The fall is mainly due to the impact of homelessness prevention strategies adopted by councils, involving closer partnership working between social work departments, health care professionals and the voluntary sector to ensure that people who are at risk of homelessness are assisted as early as possible.
There has also been a 5 per cent decrease in the number of Scottish households in temporary accommodation in comparison to 30 September 2011.
The positive figures for the second quarter of 2012/13 have been unveiled just two weeks after a new law came into force in Scotland which entitles all unintentionally homeless people to settled accommodation.
Housing and Welfare Minister, Margaret Burgess said: “It is difficult to imagine, or overstate the trauma that comes with losing the roof over your head.
“I’ve worked with many people in that situation and that is why there can be absolutely no complacency when it comes to tackling homelessness.
“This government is working hard to ensure that priority is given to prevention approaches – ensuring that as few people as possible get to the stage where they face this bleak prospect.
“Working together across the whole of the public and third sector is key to this and councils have done excellent work on prevention work to date. In December we announced that we are committing a further £300,000 over the next two years to enable local authorities to continue working together to ensure vital prevention activity continues.
“I am confident that by working together, Scotland can pave the way and set an example to the rest of the world when it comes to preventing homelessness.”
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