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Shelter: Plan to tackle child poverty doomed to fail without social housing delivery

This news post is 12 months old

The charity’s warning comes as ministers outline strategy.

A leading charity has warned any efforts to tackle child poverty are doomed to fail if more social homes are not delivered as the Scottish Government provides an update on its progress.

Ahead of a statement from Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley-Anne Somerville, Shelter said much more must be done on delivering social housing. 

While Ministers acknowledge that housing will play a vital role in tackling child poverty, Shelter Scotland says a consistent failure to deliver the necessary social homes means child poverty will inevitably remain high.  

There are currently 9,130 children trapped in temporary accommodation in Scotland, a 120% increase since 2014 and the highest number on record.   

In its most recent budget, the Scottish Government slashed the funding available for new social homes, while there was a significant year-on year reduction in the number of new social homes started and approved between 2021 and 2022.  

Director of Shelter Scotland, Alison Watson, said: “There is a clear link between Scotland’s housing emergency and the persistently high rates of child poverty.  

“There are record numbers of children in Scotland with nowhere to call home, up 120% since 2014, and we fully expect the number will be even higher when the newest homeless statistics are published in the coming months. 

“Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has slashed funding for new social homes, and social housing delivery is slowing down.  

“Unless that changes, and soon, any plan to tackle child poverty simply will not succeed.  

“Since taking office the First Minister has undoubtedly talked a good game on tackling child poverty, but warm words won’t cut it.  

“Children are paying the price for the Scottish Government’s inaction: we need more social homes, and we need them now.”