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Caithness News Bulletins February 2004

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Highland Council - Housing Benefits

Voluntary Groups Share In 2.4 million For Rent Deposit Schemes

New services, to help people who find it difficult to scrape together the initial deposit to rent a home, will be running across Scotland by the end of the year.

Funding for a new development worker to drive forward work on improving access to private rented accommodation was announced as part of a 2.4 million funding package for the voluntary sector.

Rent deposit or guarantee schemes support people who do not have enough money saved to pay the deposit for a private rented house or flat.

The new worker will help councils across Scotland develop or introduce this kind of support, with 40,000 pounds awarded for this work. The Homelessness Task Force recommended that all local authorities offer access to a rent deposit scheme by the end of the year.

Communities Minister Margaret Curran said: "Scraping together a deposit with the first month's rent can be an enormous burden when someone is trying to rent a home and schemes like these help provide stability to people's lives. We are working to tackle homelessness and ensuring the correct support services are in place is critical.

"The voluntary sector provides vital services for some of Scotland's most vulnerable people. These organisations are pivotal in helping us close the opportunity gap and help make life better for thousands of Scots. That's why they deserve our continued support."

Twenty nine other groups have been awarded grants, with nearly half the 2.4 million funding concentrating on work for the homeless. Other awards support women experiencing domestic abuse, refugees, community care and tenant services projects.

Assessment of homelessness strategies submitted last year indicated that ten councils, including Shetland, Highland, Glasgow, Borders, Fife, Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, Western Isles, Midlothian and Dundee, did not have these schemes in place or required to further develop existing schemes.

Applications for grants to voluntary bodies may cover periods of up to three years, but awards are made on an annual basis. The majority of this year's awards are to organisations that are currently in a three year cycle, with three awards for additional or renewed funding and one awarded to an organisation not previously funded through the grant scheme.

BREAKDOWN OF ALLOCATIONS

Homelessness
Bethany Christian Trust - 34,020 to provide social and pre-employment training for homeless people in a care context.
Borderline - 100,000 to provide advice and accommodation for homeless Scots in London and to continue a resettlement project.
Community Self Build - 35,000 to assist people in housing needs (including homeless people) to build their own homes.
Glasgow Simon Community - 42,436 to provide information on the progress of homeless people to and through employment.
Emmaus - 30,000 to establish Glasgow as a pioneering service for long term unemployed homeless people in Scotland through work in a self-sustaining furniture recycling business.
Move on Ltd - 35,084 to identify the causes of homelessness among young people leaving care and attempting to prevent it.
National Rent Deposit Forum - 40,000 to provide support services for the development of Rent Deposit Schemes throughout Scotland
Rowan Alba Association - 92,868 to provide an outreach and Peer Support Scheme to homeless individuals.
Scottish Churches Housing Agency - 65,000 assisting action by churches in Scotland to help homeless people
Scottish Council for Single Homeless - 197,000 for the provision of advice, training and information service to homeless people, including a youth unit.
Scottish Women's Aid - 100,000 to continue work on housing options for women experiencing domestic violence who would otherwise be homeless.
Scottish Youth Housing Network - 12,996 to produce newsletters, hold an annual conference, update website and develop a core subscription base.
Shelter Homelessness Advisory Service - 205,927 to provide an advisory service across Scotland to prevent homelessness.
Shelter Housing Law Service - 140,000 for provision housing law advice, training. Seminars and representation to Shelter and other agencies.

Community Care
Age Concern Scotland - 130,000 for information, advice and research on housing for older people and 29,754 for an advisory service for owner-occupied retirement housing (2 projects)
Care and Repair Forum Scotland - 109,763 for maintaining an database of national information on clients, and information and other support services for local projects which help older owner occupiers to remain in their own homes.
Glasgow Disabled Persons Housing Service - 44,550 to develop an innovative employment project and to take forward services for disabled people through the Glasgow Housing Options Register.
Ownership Options in Scotland 100,000 to provide support for disabled people to have a choice of housing tenure, and in particular to become homeowners.
Education Research and Training
Chartered Institute of Housing - 31,827 for housing research, guidance and good practice publications.
PATH - 40,760 for research projects and training related to the employment of black and minority ethnic people housing providers.
Services to Tenants

Out to Tender (Formerly HOMES/HEMS) - 109,000 to assist tenants to move by house exchanges.
SACRO - 99,906 to develop community mediation consultancy and training services and produce leaflets and good practice guidance.
Tenant Involvement in the Highlands, Grampian and Highland Rural Areas 62,216 to promote tenant participation in rural areas.
Tenant Information Service 60,000 to develop information products, for capacity building and for tenant participation matters.
Tenant Participation Advisory Service - 60,101 to promote tenant participation across Scotland.

General
Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust 37,699 towards helping disadvantaged smaller communities in the Highlands to solve housing related problems.
Positive Action in Housing 38,397 to fund a housing information and advice centre meeting the needs of black and ethnic minority communities.
Rural Housing Service - 31,000 for support to rural communities and for publications, conferences advice and on line information and housing projects.
Saltire Society - 10,000 for the costs of scrutinising and making design awards to promote better housing design.
Scottish Refugee Council - 183,093 for housing policy development on refugee and asylum issues in Scotland, housing advice information and support.

Links
Highland Council Housing Options Manual

Housing Links
Homelessness