Published 25 August 2022

Preventative measures to support households at risk of becoming homeless have been well received in West Dunbartonshire.

Proactive initiatives to prevent homelessness are now a permanent part of the Council’s homelessness service.

The support has led to a 68% increase in approaches to the Council’s housing options service, and in over half of these, homelessness was prevented.

The preventative measures include a pilot fund which received over 100 referrals in 2021/22, with 22 applicants at risk of becoming homeless receiving payments to help them remain in their social or private tenancies.

The Tenant Hardship Fund was also fully utilised with 239 grant awards totalling £263,000 to help tenants maintain their tenancies.

In addition, the Council has reviewed its Allocation Policy to ensure a proportion of properties are allocated to young people at risk of becoming homeless.

Councillor Craig Edward, Convener of the Housing and Communities committee said: “We know that since the pandemic we have seen an increase in homelessness presentations and our team are committed to ensuring any household presenting are allocated suitable accommodation quickly. These preventative measures have shown that in some cases, it doesn’t need to go that far and it is pleasing to know that with our assistance we can support at risk households to remain in their tenancies.”

Councillor John Millar, Vice Convener of the Housing and Communities committee, added: “With the cost of living crisis impacting so many of our residents, these preventative measures which can provide support before things progress to homelessness will offer reassurance to our residents. I would encourage anyone who thinks they are at risk of becoming homelessness to get in touch to see what help we can offer.”