Fourth Scottish council declares housing emergency

Fourth Scottish council declares housing emergency

0:05 AM, 26th March 2024, About 3 months ago 5

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A fourth Scottish council has declared a housing emergency because of ‘extraordinary strain on its housing and homelessness services’.

Fife now follows Glasgow, Edinburgh and Argyll and Bute after a full council meeting gave the call its backing.

Cllr Judy Hamilton, the council’s spokesperson for housing, said: “We have worked very hard in recent months, to avert this emergency, making sure tenants are in the right house for them and reviewing processes to turn houses around quickly so they don’t lie empty between tenancies.

“Despite this, Fife did not receive any of the £2m revenue funding for temporary accommodation announced by the Scottish Government prior to December 2023.”

Rocketing number of families without permanent housing

Fife has recently agreed on a three-year plan to tackle homelessness which highlighted the need for an estimated £67.3 million to help the rocketing number of families without permanent housing.

Cllr Hamilton said: “We have written to the UK Government ahead of their budget; we have written to the Scottish Government, and I have met with the Housing Minister to highlight that we are in a difficult situation in Fife and call upon them for assistance.

“Despite giving ourselves the best chance, we now have no choice but to declare that we are in housing emergency. The pressure on our services is relentless.”

The council meeting was told that the best solution to the housing crisis was to build new social housing.

‘Cut 26% to the support for our Affordable Housing Programme’

Cllr Hamilton said: “It is against this backdrop, the Scottish Government has cut 26% to the support for our Affordable Housing Programme.

“This is extremely concerning and will have a negative impact on the number of new affordable houses the council and the Fife Housing Association Alliance can provide to support homelessness needs.

“Since 2012, we have had one of the largest social house-building programmes in Scotland and even the UK, delivering 7,400 houses.

“We have committed to building a further 1,250 Council houses in Fife over the next five years, as part of the Affordable Housing Programme. Our ability to keep building is now compromised.”

Its statutory duties on homelessness

Council house rents in Fife have gone up by 5% this year but the council says it is now facing difficulties in meeting its statutory duties on homelessness.

Cllr Hamilton said: “We are now officially therefore declaring a Housing Emergency.

“We will now work with partners to bring forward a Housing Emergency Action Plan to the Cabinet Committee in June, supplementing and accelerating actions already agreed.”

The chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), Sally Thomas, said: “Amid a backdrop of increasing homelessness, a severe shortage of social homes, and repeated Scottish Government budget cuts, it is clear that all of Scotland faces a housing emergency.

“It’s unlikely that Fife will be the final local authority to make this declaration, and until the Scottish Government commits to sufficient funding for the affordable, secure, rented homes Scotland needs, then its long-term strategy for housing will continue to unravel.”

The Scottish Government says it remains focused on delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 and is looking at boosting private sector investment to help deliver more homes.

Watch Cllr Judy Hamilton explain why Fife is declaring a housing emergency:


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Comments

JB

10:47 AM, 26th March 2024, About 3 months ago

The chickens have come home to roost

Reluctant Landlord

11:53 AM, 26th March 2024, About 3 months ago

“Amid a backdrop of increasing homelessness, a severe shortage of social homes, and repeated Scottish Government budget cuts, it is clear that all of Scotland faces a housing emergency.

Missing detail on the attack on the PRS which has clearly exacerbated this!

..... and until the Scottish Government commits to sufficient funding for the affordable, secure, rented homes Scotland needs, then its long-term strategy for housing will continue to unravel.”

How about just stopping the attack on LL's so we CAN and WANT to rent properties that you need but can't provide yourself?

Cider Drinker

12:07 PM, 26th March 2024, About 3 months ago

It’s a population emergency. I wonder why?

Beaver

12:49 PM, 26th March 2024, About 3 months ago

“Despite this, Fife did not receive any of the £2m revenue funding for temporary accommodation announced by the Scottish Government prior to December 2023.”

£2m is a drop in the ocean isn't it? The Scottish government can't afford to sort the mess they have created out. The only way they can fix it is with external investment; but the SNP have attacked external investors.

Lisa008

8:16 AM, 30th March 2024, About 2 months ago

In their wisdom, then hope by attacking the PRS the LLs will exit, and tenants will buy and reduce the housing list. But if there's a 'housing shortage' there's still be a 'shortage'... Once the LLs exit, I can't wait to see who they blame next? Single mothers? Immigrants? Labour? Margaret Thatcher? Batman? the Milky Boy Kid? I'm taking bets...

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