Covid triggers a surge in homelessness as Highland Council warns of 'very significant pressures'; In capital, 56 per cent of all housing register lets went to those citing homelessness
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A WARNING has been issued by Highland Council that the local authority is experiencing “very significant pressures” in dealing with homelessness in the region.
The housing and property committee will be told on Thursday that the service is now under almost unprecedented pressure due to Covid-19.
In Inverness alone, 56 per cent of all Highland housing register lets were to those citing homelessness, while across the region the total fell just below half to 46 per cent.
According to Brian Cameron, housing policy and investment manager and Lewis Hannah, homeless service manager: “The council is experiencing very significant pressures in relation to homelessness.
“A service that was already stretched in terms of case numbers and faced with housing demand far exceeding available supply, has been placed under additional stress as a result of Covid-19. It is also widely predicted that there will be an increase in homelessness nationally as we move beyond the emergency response to Covid-19.
“Details of homelessness presentations and the number of clients in temporary accommodation are included in the housing performance report and Highland housing register reports to this committee.”
Three specialist housing officers have been recruited in a bid to tackle the problem. They will work with homeless applicants who have been in temporary accommodation the longest or those who have the most complex needs.
In each case the officers will work to identify the barriers preventing them from obtaining a permanent solution to their homelessness, this is funded by £113,843 from the Scottish Government.
But where homelessness cannot be prevented, the council has a so-called Highland rapid rehousing transition plan in a bid to find settled housing.