More than 800 children living in temporary homes

Date: 24th January 2017
Category: Child poverty

More than 800 children were living in temporary accommodation Scotland during one three-month period last year, a 17% increase on the previous year.

Housing charity Shelter Scotland said it is simply not good enough in the 21st century for so many children are not living in permanent homes. It says the government must ramp up its efforts to ensure 12,000 affordable homes a year are built in Scotland.

New government figures revealed that 17,100 applications for homelessness assistance were made between April and September 2106. While this overall figure was 3% lower than the same period in 2015, a total of 826 children were living in temporary accommodation, a 17% rise on the year before.

Overall, there were 10,570 households in temporary accommodation as at 30 September 2016 - an increase of 97 households.

Over a quarter (3,174 households) included children or a pregnant woman, an increase of 355 households.

On 30 September 2016, 27 households were in unsuitable temporary accommodation, with 12 breaches of The Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014.

Commenting on the release of statistics, Adam Lang, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, said:

"Today's figures back up our concerns voiced last year that the decrease in homelessness numbers seen in recent times is slowing and may have plateaued. This is a cause for great concern and highlights the urgent need for the Scottish Government to commit to a new national homelessness strategy.

"It is deeply worrying that there are 826 more children without a permanent home in Scotland than the same time last year - a third consecutive rise. This is simply not good enough in 21st Century Scotland and shows that homelessness is far from fixed.

"To ensure no child spends longer than necessary in temporary accommodation, we need to deliver both a major step change in affordable housing supply, at least 12,000 affordable homes each year of this parliament, as well as a renewed local and national commitment to tackling the root causes of homelessness in Scotland."