French Media Call On Scottish Homlessness Charity

Shelter has been bombarded with calls from French journalists looking to learn from Scotland’s forward thinking homelessness legislation, as French politicians make moves to implement similar laws.

The influx of media enquiries over the festive period to the Scottish housing and homelessness charity came as the plight of homeless people in France leapt to the fore when lines of red tents, housing people who were homeless, dominated their news bulletins.

With homelessness thrown into the spotlight, President Jacques Chirac said, in his televised New Year address to the nation, that he would order his government to prepare legislation to make the right to a home legally enforceable in France.

Scotland has already made this leap under homelessness legislation passed in 2003, which gives every unintentionally homeless person the right to a home by 2012 – and it is this forward thinking legislation that has caught the attention of French journalists.

Archie Stoddart, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “We have been bombarded with calls from French journalists looking to find out how the changes to Scottish homelessness legislation will benefit people.

“We’ve had television crews and journalists in the office over the past week, with journalists making the trip specifically to speak to us and other people who work in the field about the 2012 homelessness target. It’s been amazing to have Scotland’s forward thinking legislation applauded and thrown into the spotlight in this way.

“It makes it all the more important this year, with a new Minister for Communities still to be announced, that we need to see additional investment in affordable housing through the comprehensive spending review to make sure this legislation really delivers for the people of Scotland.”