MORAY is making progress to the 2012 commitment on homelessness while a drop in overall homeless applications needs closer examination, according to Shelter Scotland.
The area saw a 22% reduction in homelessness applications and a 26% reduction in homelessness assessments in 2011/12, the charity said.
That was in contrast to the national picture which showed an average 19% drop in applications and a 15% drop in homelessness assessments compared to 2010/11.
Moray is one of 14 local authorities in Scotland assessing 100% of applicants as priority need. Director of Shelter Scotland, Graeme Brown, said: "It is good news that along with the majority of Scotland’s local authorities, Moray Council is taking the right steps toward ensuring every unintentionally homeless person has the right to a home.
"However, Moray shows a big drop in homelessness applications – down 22%. Coming over a relatively short period of time, this big reduction indicates a major shift in policies and procedures within the council. Changes on this scale must be matched with evidence to show how they were achieved and the impact they are having on everyone in Moray who is in need of a home."
In 2010, the local authority introduced a new Housing Options Team, with a role to prevent homelessness where possible. Its presence was among initiatives credited for earlier reductions in homeless applications received by the authority.
Mr Brown said prevention should be kept at the heart of the homelessness system, with suitable investment made to build on progress.