Extra 557 children in temporary accommodation shows SNP Ministers failing to tackle Scotland's housing crisis

Scottish Greens housing spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP today (19 June) accused Scottish Ministers of failing to tackle Scotland's housing crisis after new figures showed an increase in homelessness, including an extra 557 children in temporary accommodation such as Bed & Breakfasts.

The Homelessness in Scotland statistics show:

* Scottish local authorities received 34,972 applications for homelessness assistance between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, 1 per cent higher than the same period during 2016/17 but following eight consecutive annual decreases.

* The proportion of homeless assessments where the applicant had at least one support need has increased from 34 per cent in 2012-13 to 47 per cent in 2017-18, suggesting a larger proportion of applicant households have more complex needs.

* As at 31 March 2018 there were 10,933 households in temporary accommodation, an increase of 60 households since last year. 3,349 had children – an increase of 118 households compared with one year earlier and the fourth consecutive annual increase.

* The number of children in temporary accommodation increased by 557 children to 6,615, compared with the same date one year ago and the fourth consecutive annual increase.

* A total of 2,582 households were in temporary accommodation for a year or longer.

* In 2017/18 there were 400 occasions where local councils broke the law by housing someone in inappropriate accommodation for longer than seven days. Most of these were in Edinburgh (280 breaches).


Scottish Greens housing spokesperson Andy Wightman, MSP for Lothian, said:

"These disappointing figures show the Scottish Government is failing to tackle Scotland's housing crisis. It's simply not the priority it should be, and as result we have more families and more children in temporary accommodation, causing distress that will affect them throughout their lives.

"Housing a basic human right and Scottish Ministers are far too cautious when it comes to taking radical action. We need to see bold measures that reduce the cost of land for councils to build the homes that are needed in our communities and we need strong action to stop the scourge of short-term lets and second homes depriving our city centres and rural towns and villages of badly-needed long-term homes.

"It speaks volumes that when pressed on the issue, the Housing Minister doesn't even know that his own manifesto committed to building - not delivering - 50,000 new affordable homes. Behind the latest homelessness statistics are real lives in need of help and Scottish Ministers' steady-as-we-go approach will simply not do."