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Homelessness in Scotland set to double

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Worst forms of homelessness will continue to rise

Homelessness in Scotland is set to double by 2041, shocking new statistics reveal.

Figures from homelessness charity Crisis show the number of people experiencing the worst forms of homelessness will continue to rise between now and 2041.

Although initiatives such as the Scottish Government's pledge to build 35,000 homes for social rent will slow the rate in the short term, the figures show a new strategy is urgently needed say campaigners.

There are currently 11,800 people across Scotland either sleeping rough or living in unsuitable temporary accommodation.

This figure is expected to rise to 12,200 by 2021 before accelerating to 18,100 - a rise of 53% on current levels - in 2041.

The analysis, conducted for the charity by Heriot-Watt University, was launched as part of Crisis’s 50th anniversary year and draws on the most up-to-date sources available.

In response to the report’s findings, Crisis is calling on the public to join its Everybody In campaign – a national movement for permanent change aimed at ending the worst forms of homelessness once and for all.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “This year Crisis marks its 50th anniversary, but that’s little cause for celebration. We still exist because homelessness still exists, and today’s report makes it only too clear that unless we take action as a society, the problem is only going to get worse with every year that passes.

“That means more people sleeping on our streets, in doorways or bus shelters, on the sofas of friends or family, or getting by in hostels and B&Bs. In order to tackle this, it’s crucial we first understand the scale of the problem.

“The Scottish Government has already committed to building 50,000 new affordable homes, with 35,000 of them available for social rent by 2021.

"This will contribute to a slow-down on the number of people affected by homelessness. They are also committed to eradicating child poverty with an ambitious Bill currently going through Parliament.

"Now is the time for action and we look forward to working with the Scottish Government to find solutions and bring these forecasts down.

Now is the time for action - John Sparkes

"Alongside the the everybody In campaign, Crisis will be working towards a national plan to end the worst forms of homelessness once and for all, bringing together everything needed to make this happen, including consultations in all three nations and a large scale programme of research."

The report is the first of two parts, with the second - due for publication in the Autumn - to examine wider homelessness, including people at risk of homelessness or those who have already experienced it, such as households that have been served an eviction notice and those in other forms of temporary accommodation.