Scottish Government
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Action to tackle homelessness

Two reports on homelessness, published today, assess evidence on local authorities' capacity to meet the Scottish Government's 2012 homelessness target.

Together the reports - the Homelessness Monitoring Group and the 2012 Homelessness Support Project - help inform strategic planning for delivery of the 2012 target.

Following their publication, Stewart Maxwell, Minister for Communities said that no one should be homeless in a modern and prosperous Scotland.

In a joint statement, Mr Maxwell and COSLA Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing and Safety, Cllr Harry McGuigan, welcomed the publication of the reports:

"We welcome these reports, which track progress towards the 2012 homelessness target to abolish priority need, giving all unintentionally homeless people the right to settled accommodation.

"The target is ambitious. The reports indicate areas of good progress but reveal we still have a way to travel, with some local authorities facing significant challenges.

"However, we remain committed to 2012 and to working together in partnership to prevent homelessness where possible and to ensure that delivery is managed and sustainable.

"We have been impressed by the level of commitment from those who participated in the projects, and the commitment from the people in our communities who provide homelessness services."

The Homelessness Monitoring Group was formed in autumn 2007 with the following remit:

* Assess progress against the five top level outcomes for homeless people, including where relevant progress against the Homelessness Task Force recommendations

Consider the implications for future progress and provide strategic advice on policy delivery
* Assess progress against the 2012 target and capacity for further progress
* and Report to Scottish Ministers in 2007/08 on these areas

The Group's membership is drawn from local, central and Westminster government; the housing & health sectors; the voluntary sector; and Communities Scotland Regulation & Inspection.

The 2012 Homelessness Support Project was established some two years ago to provide dedicated support to councils to achieve the 2012 target. Two officers were seconded from council homelessness teams to conduct the project, which was sponsored by the Scottish Government, COSLA and ALACHO. The report is the culmination of their work and is the outcome of visits to all 32 local authorities. It fleshes out an interim report which was circulated to ALACHO and COSLA last autumn.

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