Homelessness in Oban and Lorn rose by 16 per cent this year

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Homelessness in Oban and Lorn has increased by 16 per cent this year, figures have revealed.

A reported at the Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Committee on December 11 showed that in 2018/19, there were 87 homeless applicants in Oban/Lorn, four from Mull and Iona, and none on Coll and Tiree.

During the same time period, 98 homeless cases were closed in Oban and Lorn and four in Mull.

These figures indicate a decrease of homelessness in Mull, but an increase of 16 per cent in Oban and Lorn over the past year.

The main reasons cited for homelessness in Oban and Lorn last year were ‘being asked to leave’ and ‘disputes with family/relationship breakdown’.

The main reason on Mull, amounting to only two cases, was due to ‘loss of service/tied accommodation’.

There were five cases of ‘termination of tenancy/mortgage due to arrears’, in the Oban and Lorn area.

Oban and Lorn also experienced the highest amount of rough sleeping in Argyll and Bute last year after Bute and Cowal.

There were six cases of people reporting they slept rough the night before their presentation and 14 reporting they had slept rough in the three months preceding their homeless application.

There were minimal incidences of rough sleeping on the islands.

Also highlighted in the report were the amount of people currently on the waiting list for a home in Oban, Lorn and the Isles, which currently sits at 565. Broken down, this equates to 476 in Oban and Lorn; 68 on Mull; one on Iona; 10 in Tiree; and 10 on Coll.

For Oban, Lorn and Isles area as a whole, the majority of applicants, 50 per cent, require one bedroom and 29 per cent require two bedrooms, while 15 per cent require three bedrooms and six per cent of applicants are in need of four or more bedrooms.

In addition to this, a number of people applied, but received zero points, and were not deemed to be in housing need.

By 2021, there are 371 new homes expected to have been built in Oban, Lorn, and the Isles, with the Dunbeg development accounting for 300 of those.