An article from the Courier reporting that more than 100 people per month submit homeless applications in Dundee. Original article HERE
There will be many reasons why this is happening but mental health issues must, in some cases, be a contributory factor to homelessness. In addition being homeless must also be a factor in some people going on to develop mental health issues. Whatever the case it’s a scandalous state of affairs.
More than 100 people present as homeless in Dundee each month.
Stark figures released by Dundee City Council reveal more than 8,000 homeless applications have been made to the local authority in the past six years.
The statistics include 259 victims of domestic abuse who have sought shelter in women’s refuges.
In 2016/17, the most recent financial year, 1,217 people were housed in temporary accommodation after making homelessness applications.
Figures peaked in 2011/12 when 1,562 applications were made over the course of the year.
Most people who submit homeless applications are put up in hostels owned by the council, social landlords or charities such as The Salvation Army.
The average stay in temporary accommodation is more than 70 days.
Councils must offer temporary housing to anyone who makes a homeless application but charity, Shelter Scotland has said homelessness and rough sleeping remain a huge problem.
The figures include all applications made to the local authority, so will include those made by people already in temporary accommodation seeking to move elsewhere.
Shelter Scotland said one Scottish household is made homeless every 19 minutes and the law must be changed to ensure all temporary accommodation meets certain standards.
Alison Watson, deputy director of Shelter Scotland, said: “Dundee has made good progress on homelessness over the last few years and staff in our local community hub have a positive relationship with the local council and other groups providing services to those affected.
“While there were fewer people presenting as homeless last year, there were still around 100 households per month presenting as homeless, so there is still work to be done.
“People who are found to be homeless need to have decent quality temporary accommodation to help them through their crisis and to enable them to start rebuilding their lives as soon as possible.
“But with no minimum standards in law for the quality of temporary accommodation, many people are left in unsuitable housing, living in limbo for increasing lengths of time. That must change.”
A spokesperson for Dundee City Council said help is available for anyone who finds themselves at risk of homelessness.
He said: “The Homeless Services Unit is based at the East District Housing Office.
“It is a one-door advice, information and accommodation service for people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.
“We understand that being homeless or being in danger of losing a home is difficult and traumatic. Our aim is to offer a service that is sympathetic to the situation as well as meeting our statutory duties.
“When we are contacted the first thing that happens is an assessment interview within three working days, or if a person is ‘roofless’ they will be seen on the same day. ”
He said homeless offices provide free and confidential advice as well as a range of housing options.
They will also discuss what benefits the homeless person can claim and other support.
More information for anyone who finds themselves at risk of becoming homeless can be found on Dundee City Council’s website at www.dundeecity.gov.uk/housingoptions/hohomeless/