Many low-paid workers are struggling to keep a roof over their heads in Scotland as renting costs continue to increase sharply in towns and cities across the country.
With the pandemic having taken a heavy toll on the incomes and personal finances of huge numbers of people, the charity Shelter Scotland is fearful that there could be a clear worsening of the homelessness situation in Scotland.
A key problem is understood to be the increases in average rents in Edinburgh and Glasgow, which have gone up by around 25 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, over the course of the past three years.
Many people have also lost their jobs during the pandemic or been struggling to secure enough work via zero-hours contracts and found themselves in very precarious financial circumstances.
According to Shelter Scotland, in many cases, the very people who have been on the frontline and continued to work throughout the pandemic are among those whose financial situations are such that they have been badly impacted by the fallout from Covid-19.
“A fifth of Scotland are living in poverty after paying housing costs, and many of those are in zero-hours contract jobs or frontline workers who are among the lowest paid,” Debbie King from Shelter Scotland told The Sunday Post recently.
“And all the indications are that, with job insecurity caused by the pandemic, with rents and property costs already overheating in cities like Edinburgh, those who have been hanging by their fingertips are now in danger of tipping over into homelessness,” she added.
Shelter Scotland’s latest figures suggest that there are currently close to 1.5 million people in Scotland who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
The charity’s position is that the government needs to build new homes and create greater access to social housing if the issues that underpin homelessness in Scotland are to be properly and sustainably addressed.
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