In 2020/21, Scottish Borders Council received 654 homelessness applications (765 in 2019/20, 768 in 2018/19 – Scottish Government figures), which equates to 1.19% of Scottish Borders households.

This is less than the national figure (1.34%); it was 2.18% (close to the national average) in 2008, the year we were founded and Scottish Borders Council launched a new Homelessness Strategy to tackle the problem.

It is good that the problem is reducing (partly as a result of initiatives like this, which help people make a success of their first permanent tenancy) but every situation of homelessness is a serious problem for those involved.

The causes of homelessness are the same everywhere: friends or relatives can no longer provide a home for the person; relationship breakdown; action by landlords or the courts; housing debt; and personal vulnerability.