South Ayrshire Council has just launched a plan aimed at ending homelessness. The Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan 2019-2024 reflects a national push to prevent homelessness and minimise stays in temporary accommodation.
In 2017/18, the Council received 761 applications for assistance under homelessness legislation and with applications on the rise the plan is set to make a positive impact.
The reasons why people no longer have a place to stay are varied but in 2017/18, the majority of people looking for support experienced a relationship breakdown or a dispute within their household.
Under the proposals – which are subject to the availability of Scottish Government funding - training will be given to Council staff so they can help prevent homelessness well before households reach the point of crisis. Care experienced young people will be matched with accommodation appropriate to their needs and there will be more partnership working to encourage early interventions.
The new plan will also ensure more research is carried out into why some people in South Ayrshire find themselves homeless time and time again.
In cases where homelessness can't be prevented, a 'Rapid Rehousing' approach will be adopted, meaning accommodation would be provided in a community setting with appropriate levels of support as quickly as possible.
For people with the most complex needs and experience of repeat homelessness, the 'Housing First' approach will be applied. This means providing accommodation in the community coupled with access to specialist, wraparound support to minimise the chances of the person becoming homeless again.
Councillor Philip Saxton, Housing and Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "South Ayrshire does not have a big homeless problem compared to other areas, but even one person without a roof over their head is one too many.
"Anyone can find themselves homeless but there is a clear link between poor health and homelessness which is why we are working closely with the Health and Social Care Partnership to make sure people get the support they need as well as the appropriate housing.
"This plan gives us a clear pathway to ending homelessness in South Ayrshire once and for all. We will never be able to intervene in every family breakup but what we can do is work with our partners to provide safe, community based accommodation and support to help people get back on their feet."