Wednesday 15 September 2010

Homelessness in the city - clarification

As reported in yesterday's Courier, the City Council has apologised that figures given to the newspaper and myself about the extent of homelessness in the city contained an error. I print below the clarification I have been given but, as I said to the Courier, the fact remains that the city faces a continuing significant challenge in ensuring that all homeless people requiring accommodation receive this. I am meeting the Director of Hosuing later this month regarding the issue of homelessness in Dundee.

From the Homeless Services Manager :

"Dear Councillor Macpherson

Regarding the article in Thursday's Courier on numbers of homeless households provided with emergency temporary accommodation I have to inform you that there was an error in the figures supplied.

The Courier reports that since April 2008 a total of 3,839 households have been placed in temporary accommodation and that in the last four months more than 600 accommodation placements have been made. This figure is in fact the number of households assessed as being homeless and is not the number who required and were placed in temporary accommodation.

The figures for households placed in Council temporary accommodation and including Dundee Womens Aid and partnership accommodation with Hillcrest Housing Association are:

2008-09 - 489
2009-10 - 505
2010-11 - 212 (up to 31/8/10)

As you will note this makes a total of 1,206 rather than the 3,839 as reported by the Courier. The total does not include voluntary sector hostels as we do not have statistics on these establishments but I would estimate that the voluntary sector has provided similar levels of placements to ourselves.

The number of persons placed in Bed & Breakfast was correctly reported by the Courier at 187 however the number of households placed in B&B was:

2008-09 - 62
2009-10 - 21
2010-11 - 21 (up to 31/8/10)

Your support for homeless services is noted and very much appreciated and please accept my apologies if this error has caused you any difficulty. I have to confess that the error was made by ourselves and was not a result of misreporting by the Courier. I will be contacting our press office to issue a correction. If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me."