Homeless people could suffer under new landlords

People in Scotland who become homeless will suffer after housing
stock transfer if support services are not adequately provided,
according to new research carried out by the Scottish Council for
Single Homeless (SCSH) and Stirling University.

The study – But What About Me? Homelessness After Stock
Transfer – examined services to people in England who became
homeless after transfer of housing stock from local authorities to
housing associations. The findings indicate that homeless people
are likely to suffer unless local authorities and housing
associations plan early and maintain a comprehensive, integrated
service to homeless people.

Robert Aldridge, director of SCSH, said: “If transfers go ahead
we need to be planning how homeless services will be delivered at
the earliest opportunity.” Among the key recommendations passed to
the Scottish executive are that all members of the public, not just
existing tenants, be consulted and allowed to participate in the
ballots about transfers. If contracting out homelessness services,
local government should retain decision-making and planning

On the basis of the English experience, Aldridge said: “Stock
transfer challenges established patterns of service delivery and is
therefore a risk to effective services for homeless people. This
report sends a clear message to the Scottish executive and local
authorities contemplating stock transfer.”

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