Glasgow & West Scotland

Early support scheme helps reduce homelessness in Glasgow

A scheme which helps people before they reach a crisis has helped cut homeless applications in Glasgow, according to a report.

The study suggested there was a 29% fall in homeless applications in the city over three years to 2016, compared to an average drop in Scotland of 13%.

Housing Options support can include debt advice, help with finding a job, or referrals to social care services.

More than 16,000 people have been given advice each year through the project.

'Financial constraint'

About 50 organisations in Glasgow are involved, including housing associations, homelessness services, social work, health services and employability schemes.

Archie Graham, chairman of Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, said there was "no question" that the scheme was helping to steer people away from homelessness.

He said: "Housing Options is delivering positive results for individuals and is helping us to make the most of our available resources at a time of real financial constraint for the council."

The evaluation was carried out by consultants Arneil Johnston.

It said Housing Options contributed to a fall in homeless applications, from 8,299 a year in 2012/2013 to 5,929 three years later.

The study suggested that 38% of people who said they had no fixed address found a long-term solution in 12 weeks and 22% found a short-term solution.

Almost 60% of people with complex and multiple needs found a solution within three months, it said.

'Big difference'

Olga Clayton, of the Wheatley Group - which owns Glasgow Housing Association - praised the project but said more needed to be done to tackle homelessness.

She said: "While it has made a big difference in preventing many people from becoming homeless, 5,929 homeless applications in a year is still 5,929 too many."

The scheme was first piloted in the north west of the city in 2012 and was rolled out across Glasgow a year later.

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