Programme for Government 2022-2023

The new Programme for Government for 2022-2023 A Stronger & More Resilient Scotland was published on 6 September, setting out Scottish Government actions for this coming year. Many of this year’s commitments are focused on government’s response to the cost-of-living crisis, including increased protections for tenants and longer-term plans to make rents more affordable.

The aim of following measures is to support people struggling with the increased costs to food and fuel to be able to stay in their home. This would also help people maintain social connections, avoid worsening mental health issues, keep their jobs and avoid housing crises such as homelessness: 

  • A rent freeze, effective from 6 Sept, will be introduced in a new emergency Housing Bill. The new legislation will also impose a temporary ban on evictions, until at least March 2023. These measures are for tenants in both the private rented sector and the social rented sector. 
  • A new campaign will be launched to raise tenants’ awareness of their rights to ensure they can access the support and assistance they need. 
  • A ‘one-stop-shop’ website will be introduced to provide people with information on the range of benefits and support available to them through the current crisis. 
  •  A new Housing Bill will be introduced by the end of this parliamentary year to begin to deliver the actions of the New Deal for Tenants and some other aspects of Housing to 2040 – these are yet to be confirmed. 

Other measures to help people cope with increased costs include:

  • The Fuel Insecurity Fund doubled to £20 million to help households at risk of self-disconnection.
  • The Scottish Child Payment will increase to £25 for each eligible child from 14 November, when the payment will also open up to all under 16-year-olds. 
  •  Rail fares will also be frozen. 

These practical steps to prevent more people becoming homeless as a result of the increased costs we are facing is very welcome. Changes to legislation are a vital foundation to this action, along with people knowing their rights. As we know from the way that other housing legislation is implemented across Scotland, implementation including enforcement measures around the new law will be key. 

Reaction to the announcements
Housing Associations are extremely worried about the rent freeze meaning they will have insufficient funds for upgrading existing property and building new homes.
Housing sector reacts to Programme for Government rent freeze
Scottish Housing News 7.9.22

Scottish Association of Landlords have been ‘inundated’ by private sector landlords saying they will remove their properties from the housing market, which could lead to more tenants being made homeless. Concerns have been raised about interest rates leading to increases in mortgage payments (especially buy-to-let mortgages) which will no longer be covered by rent.
Scottish landlords warn of severe problems if ‘rent freeze’ goes ahead
Landlord Zone 6.9.22

Living Rent strongly welcome the rent freeze
Scotland introduces rent freeze and eviction ban to protect tenants from cost of living crisis
Big Issue 6.9.22

Blog: MyBnk Youth Homelessness Prevention

As The Money House project expands to Glasgow, MyBnk Scotland Partnerships Manager Gemma Orr talks youth homelessness in the city and how money management skills can help.

MyBnk is a charity that delivers expert-led financial education programmes to 5-25 year olds in UK schools and youth organisations – directly, virtually and online. Together with young people, we have created innovative, high impact and high energy workshops that bring money to life. 

In the midst of a homelessness and cost of living crisis, research tells us one in three care leavers currently lose their first home and 83% of evictions are caused by rent arrears. MyBnk’s Money House Project works to tackle youth homelessness through developing money management skills, with only 1% of Money House graduates ever being evicted. Following the success of four award-winning projects in London, The Money House has now expanded to Glasgow’s Hope Street. 

The Money House  

The Money House is an award-winning financial education service for 16 to 25-year-olds on the pathway to social housing – specifically targeting young adults in challenging circumstances, such as those leaving care. Over a week, a trained expert in a simulated flat environment in Glasgow, teaches participants everything they need to know to keep their tenancy. It focuses on survival money management skills, understanding systems, planning for the future and reducing financial exclusion. Using games and activities, it brings money to life, clears up misconceptions and confronts bad habits and worries like debt. Courses are available both online via Zoom and in-person. 

Bringing The Money House to Glasgow 

The decision to expand this project into Glasgow was driven by the clear need in the city. In 2019-20 there were 6054 homeless applications in Glasgow, and a further 2557 households were in temporary accommodation. In Scotland more generally, 8525 youth homeless applications were made last year, around 24% of children are living in poverty and 70% of young Scots were concerned about their financial situation during the pandemic. 

Each individual facing homelessness has their own story, but the heart of the programme has stayed the same – teaching young people how to live independently and lower the risk of homelessness through prevention rather than cure. Each person facing homelessness has their own story, but the heart of the programme has stayed the same – preparing 16–25-year-olds for independence and tackling homelessness through targeted prevention, rather than waiting until young people reach crisis point. 

The challenges facing young people in Glasgow will be different to those in London, and the financial landscape certainly differs too: benefits, housing, jobs, entitlements and financial exclusion all require local knowledge. MyBnk Scotland have been delivering money workshops in schools and youth organisations since 2019 and our Glasgow-based team have local knowledge and expert training to help them bring content to life for young people in Scotland. 

Getting involved 

The Money House targets young adults about to move into social housing. Those coming on the course can be referred by a range of stakeholders, including homelessness and young adult services within councils and housing associations and charity partners such as Barnardo’s. 

If you work with young people who would benefit from attending a course or want to find out more at one of our open days, please contact For any questions, please contact

The Money House Glasgow is funded by JP Morgan, SGN and The Quilter Foundation. 

Blog: David Kidd – diverse experiences with equal value

David Kidd is an improvement lead with Homeless Network Scotland and a member of the Glasgow Alliance to End Homelessness’ management team. Here he provides an update on the work being prioritised to ensure that people with diverse and direct experiences of homelessness have an equal decision making role in the Alliance.

The self-styled Glasgow Homelessness Involvement & Feedback Team – or GHIFT for short – are a collective of people with experiences of homelessness in Glasgow who work to represent the views and experiences of others experiencing homelessness in the city. 

When GHIFT assembled back in 2015, we set out with a goal in mind: to create a platform for people with experiences of homelessness to have an equal say in decisions and actions being taken to reduce and ultimately end homelessness in Glasgow. At the time that seemed like quite a radical idea but as the years passed, and trust was built, progress towards this goal got faster and for the last couple of years GHIFT have been doing exactly we set out to do – jointly making decisions about how homelessness services in Glasgow should work. 

For Homeless Network Scotland, this is a hugely welcome progression of our conviction that people have the right to have their opinions and perspectives heard and our commitment to creating the structures to enable that to be heard and acted on.

In Glasgow, the vehicle for this parity in decision making is called the Glasgow Alliance to End Homelessness. For anyone that doesn’t know, it is a ten-year partnership founded on unanimous decision making and an ethos of ‘Best for People’. The Alliance is between ten organisations including the HSCP, third and independent sector organisations and GHIFT. Homeless Network Scotland is part of the Alliance as a knowledge-based partner, and to centre and support the value of lived experience. The Alliance have overall responsibility for planning, delivery and transformation of services and support for those at risk of or experiencing homelessness in Glasgow with the aim of ending homelessness in Glasgow by 2030. 

It has been a couple of years now since the ink dried on the Alliance Agreement and it would be fair to say that a lot has happened during that time. 

Despite going into lockdown less than 1 month after the Alliance contract was awarded, GHIFT and the Alliance have been working hard to set up the Alliance structures, documentation, working groups, ways of working and so much more… And to begin the process of transforming the way that homelessness services in the city are delivered.  

None of this can happen in isolation though. To do it properly will need lots of support and the involvement of as many people as possible – from those using services and the services supporting them to the citizens of Glasgow themselves. Everyone has a part to play in ending homelessness. 

With that in mind, the next phase of the Alliance’s work involves working with those in the homelessness sector and beyond to develop a strategy that will drive the Alliance’s approach, direction and priorities over the coming 3 years.  As part of this, GHIFT will be running focus groups with people using homelessness services to ensure that the new strategy is directly influenced by what’s important to them. Look out for more details of these coming soon.

There are also a range of other events and activities that will inform the development of the Alliance strategy: 

  • For those working on the front lines of services within homelessness and related sectors there are Frontline Forum sessions happening on 28 September (online) and on the 5 October (in-person). You can read about GHIFT and Alliance Leadership Team member Mark’s experiences of attending previous Frontline Forums here.
  • For anyone else who has an interest in ending homelessness there are Alliance exCHANGE events happening on 22 September (in-person) and the 27 September (online). 
  • For anyone who is unable to attend these or who would like more details on how to get involved in shaping the strategy you can visit the Glasgow Alliance to End Homelessness website by clicking here

This is just the beginning though. To end homelessness will need everyone’s help and if you’ve got experience of homelessness in Glasgow and a determination for change then GHIFT needs your help too! We’ll be recruiting again soon, so to find out more about GHIFT or to add your name to our recruitment contact list – contact me at or phone 0141 420 7272./

All in for Change National Roadshow 

The Change Team are going on tour! 

To find out what progress people are seeing towards ending homelessness in Scotland. As part of their mission to help bring policy decisions closer to the real change people are experiencing on the ground, they want to talk to you.

This national conversation will influence policy and strategy at national and local level, to help end homelessness in Scotland. If you and your colleagues work to support people experiencing homelessness, come and join us at one of 5 workshops, and tell us what is working, and what is getting in the way. 

Book your place to join in the conversation! 
Find out more at
And please share this invite to anyone who might be interested.

Download a poster (PDF)

5 Workshops – join us in person!

It is free to join these workshops. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

A £20 Tesco voucher will be available for anyone who is using homeless services.

Book a place or email or call 0141 420 7272 

Tuesday 30 August 12.00 – 15.00

Thursday 1 September 12.00 – 15.00

Thursday 8 September 10.00 – 13.00

Monday 12 September 12.00 – 15.00

Thursday 15 September 12.00 – 15.00

The Social Distance Between Us by Darren McGarvey

Book review by David Pentland, Homeless Network Scotland

In the introduction of the book, Darren outlines the political landscape in the UK. He sets the scene well, with some reflections of the social distance between the Conservative government’s policies and legislation, and the aspirational needs of working-class people. He also underlines that the only thing “trickling down” in this economy is national debt, as billions of pounds are wasted in reactionary spending.

Darren begins by walking the reader though one of his own experiences of being class-profiled by the police in Glasgow. It really sets the tone, which immerses the reader in the daily struggles for people of the underclass in a battle for survival. He juxtaposes the experiences of the underclass against the experiences of a thriving upper class, awash with opportunity – a sharp critique of the notion that our society is in any way meritocratic.

There are many thought-provoking themes running throughout the book, although the main focus of this review will be on homelessness, after all it is our business! Having myself personally spent fifteen years revolving between homelessness and prison, followed by a further 20 years working in frontline service provision, Darren’s reflections, and his inclusion of lived experience, really highlight the plight of the people who slip through the cracks and suffer often punitive penalties for society’s lack of ambition around homelessness.

Darren’s movement through the homeless world highlighted a number of important issues from Edinburgh to Aberdeen: we owe it to people to get things right more often. Although the pandemic changed the face of homelessness in terms of rough sleepers, we still have too many people living in temporary accommodation and substandard accommodation, as Darren highlights. However, to say the homelessness problem is the least complex, as Darren says I would argue is a mere simplification of a very complex problem. We live in a time of multiple crises: addiction and mental health; structural obstacles in joining vital support services together; lack of affordable housing; lack of housing in areas people want to live; and refugees of war and political instability joining the ranks of ‘New Scots’, arguably leading to overpopulation in many urban areas.

The question for me always comes back to trauma: in my experience we have many people medicating trauma with psychoactive substances in the margins of our society, and no amount of policy or legislation will mitigate the impact trauma has on peoples’ lives. Add this to the demise of communities as self-sustaining entities, and throw in poor mental health, and we will continue to have a disproportionate amount of people dying on our streets and in our communities.

If ever there were a song to accompany a book, in this case it would be ‘Working Class Hero’ by John Lennon!

I will close with one example Darren did provide that was artistic in its form:

“He was frozen out by an opaque administrative maze, populated by faceless desk-killers. An organisational jigsaw puzzle where decisions with life-and-death implications are made behind a curtain of unaccountable officialdom”.

You can purchase the book here.