Many homeless people choose to sleep rough in spite of
accommodation being available, according to the latest Scottish
executive statistical report on rough sleepers.
The executive report, carried out by the independent George
Street Research, shows that in a spot check on one night in October
last year 117 people chose to sleep rough while there were 180 bed
But Robert Aldridge, director of the Scottish Council for Single
Homeless, said: “We accept some people will avoid the available
accommodation. The question is why?
“Is the accommodation in the wrong places? Is the accommodation
run in the wrong way? The only way to find out is to listen to
homeless people themselves,” he said.
Hugh Henry, deputy minister for social justice welcomed the
report, and said: “We will continue to work with local authorities
to improve the connection between people sleeping rough and the
services and accommodation which have been developed and funded
through the rough sleepers initiative.”
The executive has set a target of no-one in Scotland sleeping
rough by 2003, but five local authority areas were identified as
having insufficient places for their estimated number of rough
The Scottish executive is set to introduce the Homelessness
(Scotland) Bill in September this year, which will expand the
categories of people who will be assessed as having a priority need