PEOPLE in Dumbarton and the Vale on the brink of being made homeless will be given more support, the Scottish Government has announced.

Following extensive consultation on changes to homelessnesses laws, the Holyrood ministers are set to move forward with a number of measures designed to help those who are most in need.

Public views were sought on a number of measures recommended by the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group last year, and opinions returned as part of the consultation have shown people to be in favour of the changes.

The first to be implemented later this year will drop the requirement for councils to ascertain if a person has been deliberately made homeless.

It is hoped this will make getting support easier for people dealing with financial or mental health issues.

Another measure will also see the requirement for someone to demonstrate a link to that specific council area be dropped, allowing people to choose where they make their homelessness application.

The more detailed changes will be developed in the coming months with local authorities and other groups to ensure the best outcomes for people struggling to stay in their homes.

The news comes as the number of people who reported sleeping rough at least once in the three months before making a homelessness application to West Dunbartonshire Council jumped by 1,300 per cent in just one year.

In a story by the Reporter, new statistics revealed the number had jumped from just 5 in 2016-17 to 70 in 2017-18.

The figures, taken from a Scottish Government report, also stated that around 35 people had reported sleeping rough the night before making an application, a figure which had soared from zero the previous year.

Scottish Government housing minister, Kevin Stewart, said: "Scotland has some of the strongest homelessness rights in the world and these changes to the law will allow more people to benefit from the support available. We want to make sure that anyone facing homelessness is supported into permanent, settled accommodation that meets their needs as quickly as possible.

“We are working with organisations and partners on the front line to tackle rough sleeping, and cut down the time people spend in emergency temporary accommodation. Crucially, we are listening to those with experience to make sure that we address the root causes of homelessness.

“This is part of our wider action plan, backed by £50 million, which sets out the steps we will take to end homelessness for good.”