Ministers must tackle housing crisis to give children best start

Written by Adam Lang on 23 June 2016 in Comment

Shelter Scotland has set out why the Scottish Government must tackle housing shortage to give children the best chance in life     

Over the next five years, this magazine and its readers will be asked to consider what they would do to help improve the life chances of Kirsty, the Holyrood baby. 

The first thing Kirsty needs is a safe, secure and affordable home. Without a decent home, Kirsty is unlikely to have the same level of educational attainment as her peers, as children in temporary accommodation can miss up to 55 school days a year.

Without a warm and safe home, Kirsty will also have poorer health outcomes over her lifetime, because children in cold homes are twice as likely to suffer respiratory problems.


RELATED CONTENT 

Her chances, your choices - Introducing Kirsty, the Holyrood baby

Early years culture needs to change


Sadly, far too many people across Scotland today don’t have access to a secure home of their own. There are currently 150,000 people on waiting lists. Last year, there were nearly 36,000 housing applications and tomorrow nearly 5,000 children will wake up homeless.

Last year, children in Scotland spent nearly a million days in temporary accommodation. These are shameful statistics for Scotland in 2016 and they are the result of the failure of successive governments to meaningfully tackle our housing crisis. 

But it is not just children who are suffering in this crisis. Recent research carried out by YouGov on behalf of Shelter Scotland showed more than one million (53 per cent) 18-44 year olds in Scotland say housing problems are forcing them to put their lives on hold.

The lack of secure and affordable housing is cited as a key reason for people finding it much harder to achieve the life milestones taken for granted by previous generations. A good home is central to our wellbeing, both individually and collectively as a nation.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are clear actions on housing and homelessness that our politicians can take now to improve the fortunes and life chances of babies like Kirsty.

By choosing to prioritise homes during this parliament, our MSPs and ministers can ensure a better future for Kirsty and for the thousands of people across Scotland who are having to put their lives on hold as a result of our housing crisis.

Adam Lang is head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

Scrap the benefits freeze or force half a million more into poverty, says thinktank
10 October 2017

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that the policy to freeze working-age benefits represents the “single biggest policy driver” behind the expected rise in poverty

Opportunities for all: JRF chief executive Campbell Robb
18 September 2017

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) chief executive Campbell Robb on the importance of inclusive growth in Scotland 

Inspiring change: inclusive growth
18 September 2017

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s recent conference on inclusive growth brought together policymakers from all sectors across Scotland  

Homelessness projected to rise by 50 per cent over next 25 years
9 August 2017

Heriot-Watt University study projects number of people homeless in Scotland will rise to 18,100 in 2041

Share this page