Homeless to help review government policy on homelessness:

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Mon, 21 Jun 1999 05:17:50 -0700 (PDT)


http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk_politics/newsid_371000/371550.stm
FWD  BBC News - Thursday, June 17, 1999
     UK Politics

     HOMELESS REVIEW LAUNCHED

     THE HOMELESS ARE TO BE CONSULTED IN THE REVIEW

A major review of the government's policy on homelessness is to be carried
out in Scotland.

The plan was announced by the Scottish Communities Minister Wendy Alexander
during a visit to a hostel in Edinburgh.

The review will examine the causes of homelessness and decide how the
government can meet its target that no-one should have to sleep rough by
the end of this parliament.

It is estimated that 1,000 people sleep rough on the streets of Scotland's
cities every night.

Beyond that, up to 40,000 people are waiting for homes.

Ms Alexander said the government had already commited 54m to the problem
but more needed to be known about why people become homless and how the
government can help them.

"Homelessness blights the lives of far too many people in Scotland," she said.

"The review group will take a comprehensive look at homelessness in
Scotland. We need to understand the causes and nature of homelessness
in both rural and urban Scotland.

"It will work with and talk to the real experts - homeless people
themselves. Those who deal with homelessness issues on a daily basis will
also help us get to the heart of the problem."

Shelter welcome

The taskforce is to be led by the Social Inclusion Minister Jackie Baillie.

It has been welcomed by the charity Shelter which wants to see an early
start on legislation to ease the plight of the homeless.

The Scottish National Party attacked Labour's failure to include a Housing
Bill in its legislative timetable.

Shadow Housing and Social Justice Minister Fiona Hyslop said: "The
executive have failed to provide leadership on the housing agenda.

"Rough sleeping is an important aspect of homelessness - but where are
Labour's proposals to tackle bed and breakfast provision, or overcrowded
shared accommodation."

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