Victory for homeless people as housing bill passes final stage

New laws which strengthen the way in which local councils support families who are at risk of homelessness have been hailed by Shelter Scotland as crucial and progressive.

The measures were made law as the Housing [Scotland] Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. A raft of measures including Access to Support for people facing homelessness and the end of the Right-to-Buy scheme for new build social housing were all passed.

Shleter Scotland Director Graeme Brown said: “Today’s passing of the Housing Bill is a fantastic result for homeless people and those facing homelessness across Scotland.

“For the first time, local authorities will now have to provide appropriate access to support for families and individuals who are at risk of losing their homes.  As the cuts take their toll and more people are driven toward debt, repossession and evictions, this legislation will give them a much better chance of dealing with their situation more effectively.

“We congratulate the Scottish Parliament for its courage and strength in seeing this Bill through. The result will bring positive social and financial benefits through a significant reduction in repeat homelessness. We view this as progressive legislation which proves that Scotland has a pioneering approach to dealing with housing and homelessness issues.”

Mr Brown added: “This Bill also introduces welcome reform of Right-to-Buy which will prevent the sell-off of all new social homes – an overdue provision which helps secure Scotland’s housing stock for the future.”