West Dunbartonshire Council, along with all other local authorities, have been given a deadline of December for submitting plans showing how they will operate a new Scottish Government scheme to tackle homelessness.

Housing First aims to be a vital part of all homelessness services across the country, providing permanent housing as a first, rather than last, response for people sleeping rough.

Scotland’s inaugural Housing First summit, held on Wednesday in Dundee by the Homeless Network, heard Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart MSP, leading academics and people with first-hand experience of homelessness explain why Housing First is so effective at reducing rough sleeping.

Mr Stewart said: “There is a sense of optimism in Scotland that we have an opportunity to make significant, lasting progress towards ending homelessness.

“Core to this progress will be the acceleration of rapid rehousing and Housing First, to which we’ve committed £23.5million from our £50 million Ending Homelessness Together Fund and the Health portfolio.

“Housing First recognises that a settled and safe place to call home – with tailored support and someone to get alongside you – will better help people to leave homelessness behind, and to build and live their lives.

“There are deeper and longer challenges in housing and homelessness which we will continue to address.

“But for our most vulnerable people experiencing the sharpest end of homelessness, Housing First is the kind and necessary response that we can choose to make happen now.”