Projects to tackle homelessness and housing issues have been given a £2.1 million funding boost, the Scottish Government announced today.
The cash will be shared between 29 new and existing schemes which applied for the Housing Voluntary Grant Scheme 2014-15.
They include projects supporting young people left homeless, prisoners on their release from jail and housing in rural areas.
Housing Options Scotland has been awarded £221,250 for its work, ensuring disabled people have access to suitable housing, while the Shelter Housing Law Service, which offers tenants legal advice, has been given a £185,473 boost.
The Rural Housing Partnership has been granted £180,000 to help address local housing, particularly in Dumfries and Galloway and the Highlands.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “No-one in Scotland should be without a warm bed and a place to stay, so it’s particularly upsetting to think of those vulnerable people in our communities who may find themselves homeless at Christmas. We recognise that homelessness also applies to those living in a hostel or having to stay in unsuitable accommodation.
“That’s why I’m delighted to announce that £2m funding will be spread across 29 worthwhile and innovative projects through the Housing Voluntary Grant Scheme.
“These projects offer invaluable advice and support on homelessness and a wide range of housing issues, with some providing legal advice and educational opportunities and others making it easier for the elderly to continue to live in their own homes.”
Moira Bayne, Housing Options Scotland’s chief executive, said: “Our grant award for 2014 will enable us to provide quicker response times for new clients and expand our outreach work through our Military Matters and Peer Support projects.”
Other projects to benefit include Bethany Christian Trust, which has received funding for the first time – £44,000 to assist with areas such as literacy and numeracy, budgeting support, volunteering and street work.
Crisis UK and Scottish Churches Housing Action have been given grants of £78,943 and £65,000 respectively, including funding for two new projects.
The new Crisis UK scheme will design and resource services for homeless or vulnerably housed people in Scotland who need to move into shared housing, while Scottish Churches Housing Action’s initiative will assist prisoners with housing, health, training and employment interviews following their release from Saughton jail.
The Venture Trust will be given £60,000 to help young people who have been left homeless to build self-esteem and independent living skills.
Venture Trust chief executive Mark Bibbey said: “This support will enable us to launch a national programme to inspire and enable young people who are living in supported accommodation right across Scotland.
“Through a personal-development programme centred on a wilderness expedition in the Scottish Highlands, participants will be able to develop the skills they need to sustain their tenancies and work towards stable, independent futures.”