MSPs launch probe into homeless targets

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MSPS have launched an inquiry into what progress councils are making towards the Scottish Government’s commitment to end homelessness by the end of next year.

Earlier this week, the Evening News revealed council chiefs in Edinburgh fear they may not meet the 2012 requirement to provide all unintentionally homeless people with a home. They say the new target means finding places for around 850 extra people a year, on top of the 3500 the council already deals with, at a time when affordable accommodation is in short supply.

Now the Scottish Parliament’s infrastructure and capital investment committee is to take evidence from the government, local authorities and housing organisations.

Committee convener Maureen Watt said: “As 2011 draws to a close, the aim of this exercise is to find out where local authorities stand in fulfilling their legislative obligation. For some local authorities it is a bigger challenge than for others and we want to identify any barriers to achieving the goal as well as good practice which can be shared.

“We want to undertake this work so that we can measure the progress a year ahead of implementation. This will allow us to identify any action that can be taken to assist local authorities in meeting this important target on time.”