21% increase in homeless applications in Argyll and Bute

A 21% increase in homeless applications across Argyll and Bute has sparked a call for action from the Scottish Government.

Figures released last month showed that the number of homeless applications in the area rose from 418 between January and September 2016 to 506 between January and September 2017 – an increase of 21% over the course of one year.

MSP Jackie Baillie welcomed the figures for West Dunbartonshire, which show a fall of 3% in applications for the same period, but nationally, homelessness applications rose by 2%.

She said: “:I am deeply concerned by the sharp rise in applications in Argyll and Bute. This places many people, in particular children, at risk.

“This problem is not just limited to Argyll and Bute, so I am calling on the Scottish Government to do more to try to prevent homelessness from occurring so that fewer people are left to suffer without a home.”

A spokesperson for Argyll and Bute Council said the main reason for people becoming homeless was relationship breakdowns.

She added: “The housing service takes a pro-active approach to the prevention of homelessness and every effort is made to assist people to secure accommodation at the time they are at risk of becoming homeless and before they become roofless.

“We have a mediation contract in place and refer people to mediation to try to resolve disputes and associated potential homelessness.

“Our housing staff have developed good links with a wide range of landlords, both public and private sector and support agencies.”

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