Malcolm warns that the City of Edinburgh Council need help tackling homelessness
Local authorities & the 2012 homelessness target Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab):
To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of the ability of individual local authorities to meet the 2012 homelessness target.

The Minister for Housing and Communities (Alex Neil):

We are currently updating the 2012 modelling work in conjunction with local authorities, and we will work with local authorities over the course of this year to assess progress in meeting the 2009 interim targets. That will include a qualitative analysis of factors affecting progress as well as statistical information.

Malcolm Chisholm:
In welcoming Alex Neil to his new post, I tell him that he has an opportunity to make a name for himself by ensuring that we are on course to meet the 2012 target by the end of the current session. However, the City of Edinburgh Council has no chance whatever of meeting that target with its current level of resources. As his first good deed, will he ensure that sufficient additional resources are given to the City of Edinburgh Council to make it possible for Edinburgh to meet that historic and internationally acclaimed target?

Alex Neil:

I say to Malcolm Chisholm that I am already making a name for myself because, in the budget for affordable housing next year, I will spend 15 per cent more than he did when he was the housing minister.

I am conscious of the pressures in Edinburgh and in other areas. On the phasing out of priority need, against a baseline of 75 per cent, the target for March 2009 was 87 per cent and the outturn looks like being 82 per cent, which is 5 per cent short. I am aware that we must make more progress in Edinburgh to achieve the 2012 target. I have asked my officials to arrange an early meeting with those who are involved in housing development in Edinburgh, so that we can discuss that issue among other matters. I am keen for us to do whatever we need to do to ensure that we meet the 2012 target.
February 26th 2009, (Column 15265-6)