Support scheme helps cut homeless applications by a third

Homeless applications in Glasgow have dropped by a third
Homeless applications in Glasgow have dropped by a third
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A scheme which supports people before they get into a crisis has helped cut homeless applications in Glasgow by almost a third in three years, a report has found.

The independent study said Housing Options in Glasgow contributed to a 29 per cent fall in homeless applications, from 8,299 a year in 2012-13 to 5,929 in 2015-16.

The average drop in Scotland as a whole over the same period was 13 per cent.

The scheme also saved 4,320 people from experiencing a housing crisis by stepping in early with personalised support and advice, the report found.

Housing Options focuses on finding early solutions and addressing the core reasons why someone is facing homelessness – such as mental health issues, low incomes, family problems and housing arrears – at the same time as addressing their immediate housing need.

Support can include information on housing, as well as debt management, help with finding a job, or referrals to social care services.

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

Councillor Archie Graham, chairman of Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “It is a system that provides solutions to housing problems, addresses the underlying issues that contribute to housing difficulties and ultimately helps people avoid a housing crisis.

“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.

“We have been working very closely with our partners in Housing Option to deliver this success and that has contributed directly to the significant decline in homeless presentations in Glasgow in recent years.”

The independent evaluation was carried out by consultants Arneil Johnston.

In Glasgow, around 16,000 people experiencing housing problems, or facing the loss of their home, have been given advice each year through Housing Options.