THE issue of youth homelessness was a topic of discussion when members of the West Dunbartonshire Council's Housing and Communities Committee met in Clydebank last Wednesday.

One of the items on the agenda was the housing and employability delivery plan 2017/18 mid-year progress report.

And contained in the report were details of the local authority's efforts to tackle and reduce the levels of youth homelessness in West Dunbartonshire.

According to the report, the authority is halfway to achieving their objective, showing 50 per cent progress in their indicators.

The report also showed that actions were "on track" with two of four milestones "complete" and how a demonstration project on Youth Homelessness had commenced in Clydebank in a bid to ease the problem.

Ward 2 Leven Councillor John Millar asked: "Is that a programme that's going to be rolled out in West Dunbartonshire?"

Peter Barry, strategic lead, for housing and employability said: "We have had many conversations about the programme and we are very much focussed on trying to provide homes for young people."

And head of housing services, John Kerr, said: "It's only been in place three months and it's anticipated that if it's successful it will be rolled out.

"We have high levels of youth homelessness in Scotland and we will carry out a full evaluation at the end of the year."

The issue of whether young people in that situation were "fit" to live in a neighbourhood environment was also brought up.

But John Kerr said: "If they are no longer able to live in the family home then we have to make sure they are fit for tenancy but if that person is not ready then we have to look at other options."

In general, though, the housing and employability mid year progress report figures were welcomed.

Peter Barry added: "I am pleased with the direction of travel over a number of indicators."

A spokesperson for West Dunbartonshire Council told The Reporter this week: "As youth homelessness accounts for nearly a third of all homeless presentations in West Dunbartonshire, this pilot project was set up with the key aim of reducing the number of young people presenting as homeless or finding themselves in a position of housing crisis.

"The goal is to prevent or reduce repeat homelessness by increasing tenancy sustainment levels in this age group. If found to be successful, the project will be rolled out across West Dunbartonshire."