New projects to help people keep their homes

Supporting tenancies, making houses more homely and providing immediate help in emergencies were just some of the real benefits that Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan (RRTP) funding offered people in vulnerable situations in 2020/21.

Councillor Robin Currie, Policy Lead for Economy and Rural Growth, said: “This is a great example of what our housing team has done with money allocated by the Scottish Government. Despite the challenges of covid, we’ve taken forward three key projects that have helped people through really difficult times.

“Take our Flexible Emergency Fund. The fund is held by local agencies, close to where it’s needed. Something as simple as providing a person with a phone, so they can keep in touch with services during lockdown, was life-changing.”

Preventing homelessness in the first instance is the main thrust of the plan.

During lockdown it was clear that people faced reduced income and increased household costs as more people stayed at home. As Argyll and Bute is predominately off gas grid, lockdown meant that household utility bills increased and this was identified as putting pressure on rent payments. The Rent Arrears Prevention Fund helped 36 households at total cost of £60,945.

We all like to put our own stamp on a new house to make it feel like our home. Many homeless households cannot afford to decorate their properties or bring them up to a better standard when they take ownership of their house.

The Decoration Project helps households on low incomes make their house into a proper home, and this has proven to be critical in helping them sustain their tenancies long-term.

There was good uptake of the Decoration Fund during 2020/21. Thirty eight new tenants were supported with a total spend of £25,172. To date all tenants that received funds from our Decoration Project have sustained their tenancies successfully.

An update on the RRTP was presented at the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, on Thursday (2 September).


Note to editors:

The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) was established by the Scottish Government in 2017 and tasked with making recommendations on immediate actions needed to tackle rough sleeping and longer term recommendations on the transformation of temporary accommodation and how to end homelessness in Scotland. The Scottish Government accepted all of the recommendations in principle, introducing the Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan backed by £50 million of funding.

As part of the plan to transform temporary accommodation and homelessness services, all local authorities in Scotland were asked to develop a five year Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan (RRTP). The RRTPs set out local context and challenges and how each local authority plans to reduce the use of temporary accommodation (especially hostel and B&B accommodation), moving towards housing people in mainstream accommodation as quickly as possible if they have low support needs or providing Housing First for people with more complex needs.

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