White House advisor calls for housing investment
A top US homelessness advisor has praised Scotland’s efforts to tackle the problem and called for further investment in social housing as a ‘number one priority’.
Dr Dennis Culhane, who has advised the White House and New York City officials on homelessness, will address delegates at a Shelter Scotland conference next month.
Speaking ahead of the conference, Dr Culhane said: ‘Scotland’s groundbreaking commitment to end homelessness is serving as a model for how many other countries view homelessness solutions. In some ways Scotland and the United States share a similar vision in eradicating homelessness and that is reflected in the move to prevention, rather than cure.
‘However, where homelessness cannot be prevented there must be an adequate safety net for those at risk of losing their homes. While our countries have very different policies regarding the extent of social housing, investment in socially rented and affordable homes must be the number one priority.’
The Homelessness post-2012: Where next? conference marks the start of the final year before Scottish reforms give every unintentionally homeless person the right to buy a home under legislation due to come in from 31 December.
Dr Culhane added: ‘While the 2012 commitment showcases Scotland’s progressive homelessness legislation, its success can only be measured by the number of people lifted out of homelessness and given not only the legal right to a home, but the real chance of actually living in one.’
The conference will be held on 7 February in Edinburgh, with speakers including Scottish housing minister Keith Brown.