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Worrying trend in homelessness from private sector

This news post is about 7 years old
 

Concern over sharp rise in homeless applications from private rented tenants

A new report has revealed a worrying trend of homelessness emerging in the private rented sector.

The report by Shelter Scotland reveals that while homelessness applications have fallen overall by 34% in the last five years, 18% of all applications are now coming from the private rented sector.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said that with 36,457 households making homeless applications, a youth homelessness rate of 13.7 per 1,000 – over double the rate for over 25s - and a rising proportion of homeless applications from the private rented sector, it signalled there was still a long way to go to address the problem.

“With the significant weakening of the welfare state in recent years, it is more important than ever to ensure that vulnerable households are offered support before they are pushed into crisis,” he said.

“For those who do find themselves without a home, a strong housing safety net should be there to provide the services, advice and information they need to help build a pathway out of homelessness.”

The report also shows that the number of people who gave "long-term roofless" as their previous housing circumstance rose by 24% while the number of households found intentionally homeless by their local authority had risen.

Pierce Fleming was evicted from private rented accommodation in June last year after being paid off from temporary employment.

His two bedroom flat in Edinburgh cost £550 a month in rent and, though housing benefits would cover much of the costs, his landlord wouldn't accept unemployed tenants.

It meant he had to register as homeless with his partner and six year old daughter.

"We've been living with friends and family and now in temporary council accommodation," he said. "It's far from perfect and we're still waiting for news on permanent social housing.

"We were offered one house near Muirhouse but it was too far from our daughter's school.

"It's been a nightmare. Private tenants should have more rights and not be subjected to the whims of private landlords."

The Shelter report is released ahead of Shelter Scotland’s Homelessness Conference at the end of this month, where further analysis on those statistics will be presented.

And, finds the report, the proportion of homeless applications from single people over 25 years old is rising compared with other age groups.

The Shelter report is released ahead of Shelter Scotland’s Homelessness Conference at the end of this month, where further analysis on those statistics will be presented.

Brown added: “The Shelter Scotland conference will look towards long-term, innovative solutions to homelessness and its prevention and what the housing safety net should look like and how it should work for everyone who may need it.”

 

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