asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his latest estimate for the number of homeless people in Scotland; and if he will make a statemem.
For the number of homeless persons in Scotland, I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Shettleston (Mr. Marshall) on 23 January, at column 759.The very difficult problems which can arise in dealing with homeless people call for the exercise of good housing management and close co-operation between all the agencies involved. The Government have offered practical guidance on meeting the housing needs of single people in part 7 of the "Scottish Housing Handbook" and provide funding to several voluntary organisations concerned with the homeless nationally. My right hon. and learned Friend believes that housing authorities are now adopting a more flexible approach to homeless persons in their allocation policies and in the use of their existing stock. The 12·5 per cent, increase in capital investment on the housing revenue account provisionally announced for 1987–88 will enable authorities which have this as a priority to do more for the homeless.