Nearly 5,000 children in temporary accommodation in Scotland
The number of children living in temporary accommodation in Scotland has risen by 13 per cent to nearly 5,000, according to latest Scottish Government figures.
Official figures published this week show overall homelessness has fallen in Scotland but the number of people living in temporary accommodation has risen.
Scottish local authorities received 7,615 homelessness applications between 1 July and 31 December 2015, a drop of five per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.
Crisis launches manifesto to end homelessness in Scotland
Shelter Scotland launches housing manifesto
Scottish Federation of Housing Associations launches its election manifesto
However, there were 10,467 households in temporary accommodation, a two per cent increase on the year before.
Of those households in temporary accommodation 26 per cent had children.
The number of children living in temporary accommodation was 13 per cent higher in December 2015 than in December 2014, with 4,876 children in temporary accommodation on 31 December 2015, an increase of 543 on the same time a year earlier.
Although the overall number of homelessness applications has continually decreased from 2010 onwards – probably as a result of recent housing options work being undertaken by local authorities to help those at risk of homelessness consider the range of options available to address their housing needs – the report suggests this downward trend seems to have been slowing over the past couple of years.
Jon Sparkes, the chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis, said: “While recent years have seen Scotland blazing a trail in the fight against homelessness, it’s clear that temporary accommodation remains a pressure point.
“As we called for in our recent manifesto, the next Scottish Government must take action to ensure that unsuitable temporary accommodation is used only as a last resort and that homeless people can move swiftly into suitable, permanent housing.”
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said: “This is the third annual rise in the number of homeless children in Scotland. A 13 percent rise is simply unacceptable in 21st Century Scotland.
“Added to the fact that homeless children are now having to stay longer in temporary accommodation, this is an extremely worrying trend that needs urgent attention.”
Housing organisations Shelter Scotland, SFHA and CIH are jointly calling on the next Scottish government to build 12,000 affordable homes a year as means to tackling Scotland’s housing crisis.
Crisis Scotland has called for a 14-day time limit on temporary accommodation as part of its manifesto for this election.