Drop in homeless figures welcomed

Homelessness figures for North Lanarkshire are falling
Homelessness figures for North Lanarkshire are falling

fresh figures show that the number of homeless people in North Lanarkshire has plummeted in recent years.

According to Scottish Government statistics. released last week show, the number of applications for homelessness in North Lanarkshire has dropped by approximately 40 per cent over the past five years.

Julie Hunter, senior strategy officer with NLC, said: “Here in North Lanarkshire we’ve experienced a continuous reduction in the number of people presenting themselves as homeless.

“We saw an 18 per cent reduction in 2010/11 and over the last five years we’ve recorded a reduction of 39 per cent.

“We’re making significant progress towards meeting the Scottish Government’s homelessness target and one of the ways we’re doing this is by shifting our focus from a purely re-active response to being more pro-active and intervening at an earlier stage to address the underlying causes of homelessness.

“The figures are very encouraging but we won’t be complacent and will continue to tackle issues of homelessness at an earlier stage to ensure those most in need receive vital support.”

The news was also welcomed by homeless charity Shelter Scotland.

Director Graeme Brown said: “We congratulate North Lanarkshire Council on achieving a 40 per cent reduction in homelessness applications in the last five years.

“Across Scotland the overall picture on homelessness is very encouraging with a 20 per cent reduction in applications in the last year.

“However, this success should not blind us to the scale of Scotland’s ongoing housing crisis.

“The progress made by North Lanarkshire and other local authorities should be a catalyst for even greater change.

“We want to see all local authorities focus on preventing homelessness while the Scottish Government should not delay implementation of the crucial housing support provisions passed by the Scottish Parliament last year.”