Scottish Government commits to new private rented sector tenancy in Scotland

A short life working group chaired by Professor Douglas Robertson and including Homeless Action Scotland has recommended a new tenancy regime in the private rented sector in Scotland.  This would replace the widely used Short Assured Tenancy with a tenancy more suited to the 21st century and the changing role of the sector.

Responding to the working group's report, Housing Minister Margaret Burgess, has confirmed that ministers are working on bringing forward proposals based on the report.  The group included a broad range of stakeholders covering both tenants and landlord interests.

It's More Than Teeth 

Experts in dental health and homelessness gathered in Edinburgh 8th May for a ground breaking conference.  Hosted by Homeless Action Scotland and the Dental Services Research Unit at the University of Dundee, delegates at the conference looked for ways of working better together.

'It's More Than Teeth' builds on the conclusions of research carried out by Dundee University - the biggest research project ever carried out anywhere in the world on oral health and homelessness.

Homeless Action Scotland Chief Executive Robert Aldridge said:  'Good oral health amongst homeless people is about far more than teeth.  It affects self confidence, the ability to get a job and in some cases the ability to move out of homelessness.  It's not the first thing anyone thinks about to help someone out of homelessness but it can make a huge difference to people's lives.'

One of the homeless people who took part in the research said:

'Until the opportunity of dental treatment came my way I was resigned to a life of constant pain.  There was no possibility of dental care, to get access to treatment you need an address or photo - ID - a sleeping bag in a girder didn't qualify.

We would resort to pulling our own teeth or self-medicating with more alcohol and drugs - a vicious cycle.  In the past i would watch people smile and their smile would be returned, but not for me.  I was embarrassed to laugh in public and ashamed to smile in front of my daughters.  Toothlessness only lowered my self esteem, which never lifted from rock bottom - until now.  the social stigma that excluded me from mainstream society has been removed and I can move forward with confidence.  Everyone in society, escpecially the homeless and vulnerable, should have the opportunity to access dental care - the effects are transformative.'

Click here to go to the presentations from the day.

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