Dundee has been chosen to be a trailblazer in rolling out a new housing project designed to end rough sleeping in Scotland.
The city will be among the first in the country to launch Housing First, a scheme paid for by Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park fundraisers.
Up to 30 people in Dundee are expected to be housed during the first year of the project, which will launch in December.
Rather than keeping people with complex needs in temporary housing until they are ready for a tenancy, they will be given a permanent home straight away, with ongoing support.
Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, visited Dundee on Wednesday for the inaugural Housing First summit, held at Discovery Point.
He said: “Housing First recognises that a settled and safe place to call home – with tailored support and someone to get alongside you – will better help people to leave homelessness behind, and to build and live their lives.
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“Like all our partners attending this event in Dundee, I believe that we have an opportunity to end rough sleeping for good in Scotland.”
The summit was organised by the Homeless Network charity, who have been working closely with Dundee City Council.
Maggie Brunjes, the charity’s CEO, said: “Dundee was chosen to host this event because it’s a city that represents the very best that 21st century Scotland has to offer.
“At the same time the city council and voluntary sector in Dundee are key partners in confronting the kind of homelessness that can be seen in all our major towns and cities, people sleeping rough or living in unsuitable hostel or temporary accommodation.”
Local authorities in Scotland received 34,972 applications for homelessness assistance between April 2017 and March 2018, one per cent higher than the same period during 2016-17.
The £10m programme ultimately aims to place 800 people across the country in permanent homes.
These can be council, housing association, or private homes, with local authorities, third sector organisations and landlords working together.
Dundee will work alongside Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Stirling to get the Housing First project under way.
David Simpson, the city council’s head of housing and communities, said: “We always treat homelessness in the city as a high priority.
“It’s about more than just giving people a home, it’s also about ongoing support to maintain their tenancy.
“The Housing First project will be rolled out gradually in Dundee, as we want to make sure we get it right for the individuals.”