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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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More Scots applying for emergency housing handouts

This news post is about 8 years old

​Figures show Scottish Government gave out nearly £50m to support struggling families with housing costs

Scots families have come to rely on help to pay rent with a “shocking” amount of people now struggling to pay for housing costs.

New figures show 116,000 awards were made by local authorities under the Discretionary Housing Payments scheme in 2015/16, paying some £49.2 million in support to those who were struggling.

Shelter Scotland said the figures showed how ordinary Scots were finding it hard to cope with rising housing costs.

Around 127,000 applications have been made to the scheme, which provides financial assistance towards housing costs for those claiming housing benefit. By the end of March 2016, around 125,000 of these claims had been processed and over 116,000 awards were granted. The average payment made was around £425.

We urge every local authority to do all they can to help as many people as possible as a matter of urgency

Adam Lang, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, said: "That 116,000 awards were made to help people pay for their homes is good news, but it is shocking that so many families and individuals could not afford to cover their housing costs in the first place and just goes to show the true extent of Scotland’s housing crisis.

“We urge every local authority to do all they can to help as many people as possible as a matter of urgency and anyone struggling to pay their rent to apply for help that is available. Failure to do so would mean that some people would face the very real threat of mounting rent arrears, eviction and homelessness.”

“To meaningfully tackle Scotland’s housing crisis, the new Scottish Government needs to ensure that at least 12,000 affordable homes are built each year for the lifetime of this parliament.”