In its response to the Scottish Office's new Code of Guidance on homelessness, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) in Scotland welcomed measures to minimise the risk of homelessness recurring, and the emphasis on permanent accommodation for homeless households.
CIH Scotland policy officer Marian Reid said: 'we welcome the emphasis in the Code on permanent housing solutions for unintentionally homeless people in priority need, and the stress placed throughout on the importance of inter-agency working in tackling homelessness. However, we can see no long-term solution to the problem of homelessness without an increase in the overall supply of affordable rented housing in Scotland.
'We must also develop strategies to eradicate the growing levels of disrepair in housing stock, a task made more difficult by the cuts to housing budgets over the last few years.'
On adherence to the code, CIH Scotland emphasised that the draft code should have statutory force 'to ensure equitable practice across Scotland'. Research into the last Code of Guidance (1991) showed that only two-thirds of housing organisations followed it. The CIH is concerned about the effect that a repeat of this attitude could have on services to homeless people.