Ewan Aitken Responds to Government Housing Emergency Statement

21 June 2024 Written by Ewan Aitken
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Yesterday’s statement from the Housing Minister on Scotland’s Housing Emergency was not the emergency response that is desperately needed. 

This was missed opportunity to reverse the real terms cuts to the Affordable Housing Supply Programme and provide more support for services that address the roots of homelessness. Without proper resourcing for social housing and services that work to address poverty, trauma and support vulnerable people at risk of falling through the cracks we will never stop the stream of people being funnelled into unsuitable temporary accommodation.

In Edinburgh, where most of Cyrenians services are based, this problem has reached fever pitch. As of September 2023 there were 3,560 households in temporary accommodation – higher than any other Local Authority. With the festival fast approaching, we need solutions from the Government which addresses the unique problems faced by our nation’s capital.

If implemented properly the prevention duties proposed in the Housing Bill could be the first steps towards making homelessness prevention a priority across sectors. Yesterday the Housing Minister confirmed that the duties will have a phased implementation. We hope this is indication that our Government will be taking the time to make these duties work for everybody, instead of failing to recognise the long term difference they could make, if they allocate to them the required resource.