Shelter Scotland says local and national governments have taken their eye off the ball on homelessness
Every 20 minutes someone becomes homeless in Scotland because the government has taken its eye off the ball, a national charity has said.
Shelter Scotland has branded the issue a national badge of shame as it unveiled research that reveals three quarters of Scots think homelessness is a problem.
Launching a new campaign entitled homelessness: far from fixed, the charity said more than half of Scots want the government to do more to ensure everyone has a safe place to live.
The campaign is calling for action to ensure that everyone has a safe and affordable home and they have help to find and keep their homes. The charity says there should be a strong safety net to catch people if they do lose their homes and that nobody should ever have to sleep rough on Scotland’s streets.
It is frankly a disgrace that homelessness still exists in Scotland today. We are one of the richest nations in the world, yet nearly 30,000 households became homeless last year
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “It is frankly a disgrace that homelessness still exists in Scotland today. We are one of the richest nations in the world, yet nearly 30,000 households became homeless last year and more than 65,000 households approached their local authority for help with housing.
“As a wealthy nation, why is it that we still cannot ensure that there is a home for everyone? What does that say about Scotland as a society today? It’s a fundamental right that everyone should have a roof over their head and Shelter Scotland will not stop campaigning until this vision becomes a reality.”
“It is only by being bold and actually living up to our rhetoric and ambition of being a progressive and socially just nation that we can start to finally fix homelessness in Scotland.”
In support of its Far From Fixed campaign launch, Shelter Scotland has produced a detailed paper outlining its vision of the next steps and priority actions for homelessness policy in Scotland and the need for a new National Strategy on Homelessness.
A Scottish Government spokesman said it supports the campaign and is doing “everything it can” to make sure everyone has access to a warm and safe place to stay.
He said: “We provide funding and work with local authorities to help prevent homelessness and ensure the strong housing rights homeless people have in law are delivered."
"Furthermore, our action through the Tenancies Bill is supported by Shelter.
"The most recent figures show a decrease in the number of applications and households assessed as homeless".