Dumfries and Galloway council take emergency steps to address homelessness

It comes after there were almost 200 more homeless application in the region compared to last year. Credit: PA

Emergency steps are to be taken by Dumfries and Galloway Council to address the homelessness crisis in the region.

It comes after there were almost 200 more homeless application in the region compared to last year.

A report published by Dumfries and Galloway Council reveals that the number of people awaiting permanent households has also risen.

The council report states: "While there is generally an increase across all categories, there is a marked rise in some specific areas such as landlords ending tenancies, household disputes, and domestic violence.

"In addition, there has also been an increase in households declaring financial pressures as a secondary reason for homelessness."

It is estimated that the measures proposed to deal with the housing demand, which includes increased staffing and relying on bed and breakfast accommodation, will total more than £1.1m over the next couple of years.

There have been 660 homeless applications in Dumfries and Galloway between April and September this year - up significantly from 467 during the same period the previous year.

The number of out of hours cases rose from 99 to 112, while the number of households in temporary accommodation increased from 180 to 211.

For the six month period of April-September this year, the number one reason for people ending up homeless was a household dispute/relationship breakdown (non-violent). This accounted for 156 cases, which is almost one every day.

The second highest number of cases was 97, and this was down to landlords ending tenancy. Meanwhile, violence or abuse within the household was next, resulting in 95 homelessness applications.

It is now being proposed that the council increase rent payments to private landlords as an incentive to retain them and attract new landlords, which will cost around £28,000 per year.

The housing report also suggested that the homelessness situation could be even worse if measures were not put in place.

It said: "The welfare and housing options team have continued to work with the homeless team to support those service users at threat of eviction. As of 31 October 2022, this team has supported 319 households.

"Without this early intervention work the level of presentations to homeless and demand for temporary accommodation would undoubtedly be higher."

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