Falkirk Council’s help for homeless wins praise

Councillor Gerry Goldie
Councillor Gerry Goldie

The way Falkirk Council tackles homelessness has been praised by watchdogs.

Its early prevention measures have been recognised as good practice by the Scottish Housing Regulator.

In its latest report, which looked at the options local authorities have available to help individuals and families keep a roof over their heads, experts highlighted the work of the council’s family mediation services staff and the help and advice homeowners at risk get from the debt and welfare team.

Homelessness applications to the council are falling as a result of the approach.

Councillor Gerry Goldie, spokesperson for housing, said: “Early intervention is vital to help anyone threatened with homelessness before it leads to a housing crisis. Our trained and experienced people work with them at the early stages of the difficulty to prevent them having to leave their home. We also provide support and advice to homeowners who have run up mortgage arrears and are facing eviction by trying to reach repayment agreements with their creditors.

“In some cases we can also arrange for a social landlord, such as a housing authority or the council, to buy their home under the Scottish Government’s mortgage to rent scheme. This allows householders to stay where they are as a tenant, lower their monthly payments to a more manageable level and avoid the danger of potential homelessness.”