Homelessness Applications in Scotland on the Rise
February 1, 2019
Official statistics show that local authorities around Scotland saw an increase in the number of applications for homelessness support last year.
The figures relate to the six months prior to September 30th last year and show that applications increased by 2 per cent compared with the same period in 2017.
A total of 18,486 people registered with local authorities on the basis of being homelessness and in need of assistance during the six months being analysed, which is 284 more than were recorded in the same period of the year before.
According to the latest data, the number of children known to be in temporary accommodation as a result of homelessness was up by 4 per cent in the six months to the end of September last year compared to the same period of the year before.
Graeme Brown, a director of the homelessness charity Shelter Scotland, has described the latest figures as representing “bad news for anyone facing homelessness in Scotland”.
“Homelessness in Scotland continues to increase – with even more children in homeless temporary accommodation than last year and people having to stay longer in temporary accommodation with their lives in limbo,” he said.
“And with hundreds of breaches of the unsuitable accommodation order and households being turned away from temporary accommodation they are entitled to thousands of times, it is clear there is a housing emergency in Scotland.”
Despite there being an upturn in homelessness applications recorded last year, trends over the course of the current decade have been towards a reduction in the number of homeless people and families living in Scotland.
However, the Scottish government’s own analysis of the situation is that falls in homelessness seen in recent years are a consequence of targeted homelessness prevention strategies rather than the authorities being able to address the underlying causes of these issues.
“We know homelessness can’t be solved overnight and we welcome the recent focus on homelessness from the Scottish Government,” said Mr Brown from Shelter Scotland in a statement.
“But it is now time for urgent action from all areas of local and national government to work together better to tackle and prevent homelessness in Scotland.”
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