Urgent action needed to address crisis say campaigners
Children are bearing the brunt of homelessness in Scotland with new figures showing record numbers in temporary accommodation.
Some 9,595 youngsters were either homeless or in in temporary lodgings in March this year - the highest since Scottish Government records began in 2002.
At the same time there were 29,652 open homelessness cases in March, which was a 15% rise on last year.
It has led housing campaigners to slam the government’s strategy for being inadequate and “utterly shameful.”
The Scottish government has described the situation as "unacceptable and concerning".
Assistant director of Shelter Scotland, Gordon MacRae, said the figures add to the pile of mounting evidence that Scotland is in the grip of an unprecedented housing emergency.
“For decades social housing has been neglected and this is the result; more than 16,000 children in Scotland became homeless this year, many of them spending years stuck in miserable temporary accommodation,” he said.
“It is utterly shameful.
“We have some truly fantastic housing rights on paper, but the fact is they’re being breached as a matter of course across the country, because there simply aren’t enough social homes.
“There is no mystery surrounding the solution to this emergency, no need for more summits or round tables to puzzle out an answer. We need more social housing, and we need it now.
“The first minister has repeatedly said that his mission in government is to end poverty, child poverty especially, in Scotland. There can be no hope whatsoever of achieving that aim unless he and his ministers commit to serious investment in delivering social homes.
“The 16,000 kids in Scotland who are having their childhoods robbed can’t wait a second longer for politicians to get their act together.”
Homelessness applications increased by 9% in 2022-23 while there was a 1% drop in cases being closed.
More households reported rough sleeping - 1,500 the night before (up 4%) and 2,438 (up 6%) in the three months before a homelessness application.
Sally Thomas, CEO of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said: “We are working with Scottish Government to try to find ways of getting people into permanent accommodation more quickly: however, fundamentally, this is a problem of supply.
“Scotland is not on track to deliver the target of 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, and urgent, significant action is needed.
“Furthermore, we must remain focused on preventing homelessness through early intervention and prevention, working with and across all levels of government to make sure people have a home, as well as any specific support they might need to sustain it”.