Viewpark homeless unit’s future in doubt

The Blue Triangle Housing Association in Viewpark
The Blue Triangle Housing Association in Viewpark

North Lanarkshire Council has agreed to fund a Viewpark homeless unit for the next six months, but its long term future could be in doubt.

Blue Triangle Housing Association provides 12 places for single people aged 16- 25 who are homeless and require support to enable them to access and sustain permanent accommodation.

The council has agreed to provide nearly £39,000 to keep it open until April 1, but is seeking clarification of how the Government’s plans to limit funding for supported accommodation will affect the Old Edinburgh Road facility going forward.

Head of housing solutions Elaine McHugh said: “The service is currently exempted from proposed changes announced by the DWP that will limit housing cost funding, most notably the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) cap that will be applied to all social rented stock from April 2017; and to all supported accommodation from April 2019.

“Beyond that date, the UK Government has announced that the funding to cover the additional costs associated with providing supported accommodation, over and above LHA, will be subject to a revised funding regime.

“Funding up to the limit of current costs for this type of accommodation will be devolved to the Scottish Government; however they have still to decide how they will choose to spend it.

“The support contract of this service has been extended for six month during which time there should be further clarity around impacts of welfare reforms and consideration can be given to any alternative delivery options, while a procurement exercise will be undertaken to secure future accommodation and support for young people.”