Everyone Home's message the to Deputy First Minister, Shona Robison

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Dear Deputy First Minister

We are writing to urge you to use the upcoming Scottish Government budget to address the growing housing and homelessness emergency in Scotland.

We welcome the Scottish Government’s stated and ongoing commitment to ending homelessness, as well as the important steps that have been taken in Scotland, like the abolition of priority need, to take us closer toward that vision. We also recognise and strongly welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to introducing new homelessness prevention duties for public bodies. If properly resourced and delivered, they can be transformational in putting prevention at the heart of how we respond to homelessness.

But despite all this good work and intention, the latest annual homelessness statistics confirmed that, in real terms, we are moving in the wrong direction. We also have specific concerns around the escalating homelessness crisis facing newly granted refugees and those with uncertain or restricted eligibility.

There are 30,000 households in Scotland’s homelessness system, the highest level since records began. We have more children in temporary accommodation, more households experiencing
homelessness and more instances where local authorities have been unable to fulfil their legal duties to provide people with suitable temporary accommodation. At the sharp end we are
witnessing increasing levels of rough sleeping, after seeing historic lows.

This is a crisis that we cannot ignore, and the upcoming Scottish Government budget must reflect that.

The budget offers the opportunity to deliver the social homes that we urgently require. The investment already committed to the Affordable Housing Supply Programme will not go far enough in delivering the social homes that communities across Scotland so desperately need. That money must be increased, and it must be better targeted.

There is no route to ending homelessness, or to achieving our national mission of tackling poverty, without more social homes.

The budget must also see action to bolster local authorities. Scotland has some of the strongest statutory homelessness rights anywhere. And the strength of those rights is something we should all be proud of. But those rights mean very little if Scotland’s local authorities, under-resourced and overwhelmed, are unable to meet the immense demand that they face. With rights being breached with regularity across Scotland, it is critical that the budget provides councils with the investment they need to meet their duties, commission services and to protect people from all communities from homelessness.

We have many of the building blocks in place in Scotland to end homelessness, and much progress has been made.

But across Scotland too many people are waiting for a safe, secure home; watching their life chances being damaged and their options and possibilities being limited as they are pulled into homelessness.

All of us have a role to play in responding to this, and the Scottish Government budget must play a central role in that response. The budget offers an opportunity to stem the rising tide of homelessness in the short-term, and to put in place the foundations of a system that prevents and ends homelessness in the longer-term. We urge you to seize that opportunity.


The Housing Sector in Scotland:
Tony Cain, Policy Manager, (ALACHO)
Sally Thomas, Chief Executive, (SFHA)
Callum Chomczuk, National Director, (CIH Scotland)

The Refugee Sector in Scotland:
Ekta Marwaha, Chief Executive, (Refugee Sanctuary Scotland)
Sabir Zazai, Chief Executive, (Scottish Refugee Council)

Anti-Poverty Sector in Scotland:
John Dickie, Director, (Child Poverty Action Group Scotland)
Peter Kelly, Director, (Poverty Alliance)

The Academic and Knowledge Sector:
Prof Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Director, (I-SPHERE at Heriot Watt University)
Chris Birt, Associate Director for Scotland, (Joseph Rowntree Foundation)
Prof Sarah Johnsen, Chair in Homelessness and Inclusion Health, (University of Edinburgh)

The Homelessness Sector in Scotland:
All in For Change, The platform for lived and frontline experience.
Everyone Home Collective, The third sector collective as listed below:
Leona McDermid. Chief Executive, (Aberdeen Foyer)
Alasdair Bennett, Chief Executive, (Bethany Christian Trust)
Leanne Keegan, Head of Development, (Blue Triangle)
Richard Howat, Chief Executive, (Churches Action for the Homeless)
Matt Downie, Chief Executive, (Crisis)
Vic Walker, Adult Care Director, (Crossreach)
Ewan Aitken, Chief Executive, (Cyrenians)
Charles Maasz, Chief Executive, (Glasgow City Mission)
Angela Devine, Chief Executive, (Glasgow Women’s Aid)
Caryn Nicolson, Chief Executive, (Frontline Fife)
Graeme Brown, Area Manager, (Hillcrest Futures)
Maggie Brunjes, Chief Executive, (Homeless Network Scotland)
Moira Bayne, Chief Executive, (Housing Options Scotland)
Aaliya Seyal, Chief Executive, (Legal Services Agency)
John Hinton, Director, (Move On)
Janet Haugh, Chief Executive, (Right There)
Kate Polson, Chief Executive, (Rock Trust)
Karen Barr, Chief Executive, (Rowan Alba)
Pam Hunter, Chief Executive, (Say Women)
Malcolm Page, Assistant Territorial Director, (Salvation Army)
Girijamba Polubothu, Chief Executive, (Shakti Women’s Aid)
Alison Watson, Director, (Shelter Scotland)
Lorraine McGrath, Chief Executive, (Simon Community Scotland)
Josh Littlejohn, Chief Executive, (Social Bite)
Ricky McAddock, Chief Executive, (Street Connect)
David Duke, Chief Executive, (Street Soccer Scotland)
Bryan Smith, Chief Executive, (Transform Community Development)
Patrick McKay, Director of Operations, (Turning Point Scotland)

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