The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and Homeless Network Scotland (HNS) have announced a strategic partnership that aims to strengthen the social housing sector’s role in tackling Scottish homelessness.
The partnership will mean SFHA members get automatic access to both the benefits of HNS’s full membership category and HNS quarterly homelessness policy and practice briefings.
The partnership will also see joint lobbying on mutual areas of interest, as well as test-of-change projects to scope new and innovative ways of solving both Scottish homelessness and homelessness nationwide.
Commenting on the partnership, SFHA chief executive Sally Thomas said: “We are delighted to be working more closely with Homeless Network Scotland.
“Scotland’s housing associations and co-operatives already play a key role in tackling and preventing homelessness by providing affordable housing, tenancy sustainment support, and financial and welfare rights services.
“Through this partnership, we can ensure that social housing providers further strengthen the work they do, in order to achieve the shared ambition of ending homelessness in Scotland.”
The SFHA will also be involved in the design and delivery of a new HNS national framework to start up, scale up, and integrate Housing First to tackle disadvantages.
Post-COVID support guidance, options, and tools will also be established to help test new ideas that prevent homelessness and create housing capacity and choice.
Read more on the homelessness crisis in the UK:
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- Liverpool City Council to consider proposals to help homeless people and rough sleepers access vacant properties
COVID-19 and Scottish homelessness
Maggie Brünjes, HNS chief executive, said: “This strategic partnership with SFHA is very important to us. Our organisations share common values and approaches which overlap with a shared objective to resolve homelessness.
“The timing is also right to formalise this partnership. Housing ends homelessness, and a housing-led recovery will help us move forward from current emergency measures to mitigate against the worst impacts of the pandemic on homelessness in Scotland.”
Brünjes added: “No one wants to see people return to unsuitable temporary accommodation or rough sleeping.
“This will need us all to do more. While it will need a shift in homeless systems and provision, it also needs more social and affordable housing, especially in parts of Scotland where supply does not meet demand.
“I know this formal partnership between our organisations can help further that aim.”