Fife Council declares housing emergency

Fife Council has declared a housing emergency in the Kingdom.

At a meeting of the Full Council today (Thursday) Cllr Judy Hamilton, spokesperson for housing, said the council is facing unprecedented pressure on housing and homelessness services – a pressure that’s being felt across Scotland and the wider UK.

She added: "We have worked very hard in recent months, to avert this emergency, making sure tenants are in the right house for them and reviewing processes to turn houses around quickly so they don't lie empty between tenancies. Despite this, Fife did not receive any of the £2m revenue funding for temporary accommodation announced by the Scottish Government prior to December 2023."

The council has recently agreed a three year plan to tackle homelessness which highlighted the need for an estimated £67.3 million to help the escalating number of families without permanent housing.

Cllr Hamilton continued: "We have written to the UK Government ahead of their budget; we have written to the Scottish Government, and I have met with the Housing Minister to highlight that we are in a difficult situation in Fife, and call upon them for assistance.

"Despite giving ourselves the best chance, we now have no choice but to declare that we are in housing emergency. The pressure on our services is relentless.”

The council has also escalated concerns through Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA), Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) and the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO).

Added Councillor Hamilton: “The biggest contributor to solving homelessness is to continue to build new social housing.

"It is against this backdrop, the Scottish Government has cut 26% to the support for our Affordable Housing Programme. This is extremely concerning and will have a negative impact on the number of new affordable houses the council and the Fife Housing Association Alliance can provide to support homelessness needs.

"Since 2012, we have had one of the largest social house-building programmes in Scotland and even the UK, delivering 7400 houses. We have committed to building a further 1250 Council houses in Fife over the next five years, as part of the Affordable Housing Programme. Our ability to keep building is now compromised.”

Councillor Hamilton concluded: “Despite the fact that we have increased rents in Fife by 5% this year, Fife like other local authorities across Scotland, is now facing difficulties in meeting its statutory duties regarding homelessness.

“We are now officially therefore declaring a Housing Emergency. We will now work with partners to bring forward a Housing Emergency Action Plan to the Cabinet Committee in June, supplementing and accelerating actions already agreed.

"We're committed to helping anyone who finds themselves without a home, for any reason. If you find yourself in this situation, please talk to us. You can find more information at