10,000 homeless people will be provided with housing by 2026

SCOTLAND’S homeless people will be provided with 10,000 new homes by 2026, recent figures from Wheatley Group have revealed.

The Scottish care and property-management group made a pledge to tackle homelessness in its 2021-2026 strategy.

New figures show the group is on track to meet the figure in three years’ time, with 5773 people already moved from the streets or temporary accommodation and into a home.

In the first year, 2475 homeless people were given a home by Wheatley Group. In year two, 2207 people were helped to find a home.

Up to the end of August this year, a further 1091 people have moved into their own tenancy.

Knightswood, Garscadden in Glasgow

Wheatley Group has committed to giving 60% of its new lets in the central belt each year to homeless households.

In addition, Wheatley has turned 251 temporary furnished homes into permanent homes for people living in them since June 2020.

They have also created more than 369 Housing First tenancies through a multi-partnership set-up to tackle rough sleeping.

The Group includes four Registered Social Landlords – Wheatley Homes Glasgow, Wheatley Homes East, Wheatley Homes South, and Loretto Housing – and has around 63,800 homes for social rent across the country.

Wheatley Group Chief Executive Steven Henderson said: “The importance of everyone having a warm, safe, and secure home should never be underestimated.

“As the largest organisation nationally in providing affordable housing, we have a clear role to play in increasing the number of lets to homeless people and families.

“Wheatley continues to lead from the front in helping tackle homelessness across the country, with over 5770 properties let to homeless people and families since 2021 and we are well on track to meet, and likely exceed, our target of 10,000 by 2026.”

A report last month showed homelessness in Scotland had risen higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The data released by the National Statistics Publication for Scotland revealed a 10% rise in the number of households assessed as homeless to 32,242, up from 29,339 in 2021-2022.

Sharon, 53, of Midlothian, found herself homeless after her former private landlord put her rented property up for sale.

Sharon said: “I must thank Wheatley for giving me my forever home – it’s amazing.

“I don’t have any words that can sum it up. Along with my dogs, this has saved my life and given me a future.

“I used to have my own home, and a second property I rented out. Life was good.

“Then I fell on hard times. My marriage ended and my mental health deteriorated. I lost my business and, with no family or close friends around me, I had nothing.

“Life changed overnight. It was horrific.

“I got myself back on track and, as I couldn’t get a mortgage, I found a private let. I was happy and settled for almost 14 years.”

However, a change in circumstances meant the landlord wanted to sell the property, leaving Sharon homeless.

In December 2022, Sharon was offered her own tenancy with Wheatley Homes East.

She added: “I’ll never forget when I was told I was being offered a property. I burst into tears with the housing officer. It seemed unreal. I thought she was joking.

“If I was to speak to someone in my situation, I would tell them there is light at the end of the tunnel and there are people who will help.

“They should speak to organisations like Wheatley Group. They will help. They saved my life.”