A PLAN to help homeless and rough sleepers in West Dunbartonshire took a major stride forward last Wednesday when a report was tabled before a council committee.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s housing committee, chaired by Councillor Diane Docherty, recognised the work of a partnership that is aiming to develop a “rapid re-housing transition plan”.

Councillors have asked Peter Barry, WDC’s strategic lead for housing and employability, in consultation with Councillor Docherty, to ensure that the plan is submitted to the Scottish Government before December 31.

A further report will be brought to the committee in February seeking full approval of the plan.

Councillor Gail Casey said: “It is an excellent report and a terrific initiative."

The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) was set up by the Scottish Government in October 2017 to produce short and long-term solutions to alleviate homelessness and rough sleeping across Scotland.

Rapid Re-housing is about taking a housing led approach for re-housing people that have experienced homelessness and making sure they reach a settled housing solution as quickly as possible rather than being forced to stay in unsuitable temporary accommodation for longer than is necessary.

Mr Barry told councillors: “The ongoing service redesign of homelessness and homeless prevention services in this area will strengthen our housing options focus and will introduce a new supported accommodation service.

“Whilst WDC is therefore starting from a position of some progress in this area, developing a complete plan by December 31 will be challenging and require concentrated resource.”