Network Briefing | September 2020

This month’s network briefing provides a summary of the latest developments for everyone who wants an end to homelessness in Scotland. 

This month, we’re highlighting the new Programme for Government 2020-2021. It was encouraging to see a continuing focus on homelessness as a ‘national priority’ with specific commitments intended to impact on it. This programme draws on the work of the Scottish Government’s Social Renewal Advisory Board and the reconvened HARSAG – and shaped by the All in for Change Team and Everyone Home Collective facilitated by Homeless Network Scotland.  

Why does this ongoing commitment matter? The annual homelessness statistics for 2019-20 were released just a week ahead and showed a 4% increase in households who are homeless in Scotland. This is the third year in a row showing small % increases, which followed over a decade of year-on-year reductions. The figures don’t represent the successes of the early lockdown responses, nor do they fully reflect the first year of Scotland’s ground-breaking rapid rehousing plans coming into effect. But the numbers do alert us to the urgent need for significant action ahead on prevention and reducing housing insecurity. 

The team at Homeless Network Scotland are working hard to bring all of what the last 6 months has meant into a 3-day online conference so that we can all debate, deliberate and move forward. Hard Edges Scotland shone a light on how homelessness services are already ‘carrying the can’ for gaps and missed opportunities to get alongside people going through tough times earlier. Safe as Houses will explore what is needed to build forward from this experience and to make sure that homelessness services – and people directly affected – are not left carrying the can of a global pandemic. 

Read this month’s briefing in full here.

Maggie Brünjes 
Chief Executive