The number of people making applications for homelessness assistance increased across Scotland by 1 per cent over the course of the 12 months up to the end of March 2018.
Local authorities throughout the country received a total of 34,972 homelessness support applications during the period, according to official figures released recently by the Scottish government.
Prior to the most recently assessed 12-month period, Scotland had seen eight consecutive years of reductions in the number of homelessness support applications made to local authorities.
Shelter Scotland, the homelessness charity, has welcomed the Scottish government’s focus on issues relating to housing insecurity but called for urgent action to be taken to tackle and prevent homelessness and the damage it can cause individuals and families.
The charity has pointed out that the government’s latest data shows a considerable rise in the number of Scottish children living in temporary accommodation and that figure is now believed to have been rising for each of the past four years.
The latest numbers also indicate that when people find themselves in temporary accommodation across Scotland they are generally being left without homes of their own for increasingly long periods of time.
“These statistics are shocking and should start alarm bells ringing in Holyrood that homelessness in Scotland is getting worse not better,” said Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland.
“The good progress we have seen in recent years is now being reversed and bad housing and homelessness is blighting the lives of even more people in Scotland – robbing them of their health, security and a fair chance in life.
“We need urgent action and resources now to start making a difference to all those facing or suffering homelessness.”
Mr Brown from Shelter Scotland also pointed out in his recent statements that the government’s newest figures show that a household is being made homeless somewhere in Scotland every 18 minutes.
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The Scottish government has said it will be providing local authorities across the country with an extra £30 million to help them tackle financial insecurity in their areas.
MPs at Westminster have argued that people applying for Universal Credit (UC) should not be forced to wait five weeks before receiving their first payments.
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