Home All Categories Homeless families in Scotland spend too long in temporary housing, say Shelter

Homeless families in Scotland spend too long in temporary housing, say Shelter

Must Read

UK pensioners ‘suffering the worst poverty rate in western Europe’

Tories warned against further rises to the state pension age.

A homeless person dies every 19 hours in austerity Britain

Services are failing to protect homelessness people, say campaigners.

One in four households facing homelessness are already in work

Campaigners calls for the reversal of social security benefit cuts.

New DWP Secretary called for ‘tax on pensioners’

Tories can't be trusted on pensions, says SNP MP.

Homeless families with children are spending “increasingly long periods of time in temporary accommodation” and is heaping “more misery on people whose lives are already in crisis”, say Shelter Scotland.

A new report by the homeless charity reveals Scottish families with children spent almost one million days in temporary accommodation last year, with Shelter warning the “dire situation” faced by homeless families in Scotland is getting worse.

It’s ‘Temporary Accommodation in Scotland’ report, compiled using Freedom of Information requests sent to Scotland’s local authorities, found the average length of time homeless families with children spend in temporary housing has increased by almost 20% over the past two years.

Analysis of the FOI requests also reveals that 13% of families with children were in temporary accommodation for longer than a year, compared to 11% of homeless households without children.

According to the report, Scottish councils provided 3.8 million days of temporary accommodation to homeless families and individuals in 2016. The findings bear a close similarity to Scottish Government figures, which show the number of homeless children in temporary accommodation during September 2016 rose by 17% on the previous year to 5,751.

Related: More than 5,700 children in Scotland living in temporary accommodation

Alison Watson, Shelter Scotland deputy director, said: “Losing your home is a traumatic experience in itself, but then having to spend increasingly long periods of time in temporary accommodation – with no guaranteed standard for the quality of your housing – just heaps more misery on people whose lives are already in crisis.

“Children in particular are adversely affected by homelessness and, as recent Scottish Government figures show, the problem is getting worse not better – with 826 more children in temporary accommodation last year than the year before.

“Just as worrying is the fact that families with children are now spending longer in temporary accommodation than in previous years, with the median length of stay having increased to more than 20 weeks. It is well known that children’s health and education tend to suffer more the longer they are in temporary accommodation.”

The news comes shortly after an Audit Scotland report estimated that temporary accommodation costs local authorities around £27 million per year extra than if they had provided permanent homes.

Alison Watson said: “At the heart of the problem is Scotland’s housing crisis caused by an acute shortage of affordable homes. We recognise the Scottish Government’s commitment to build 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021, but that falls short of the minimum of 12,000 a year we actually need.

“If we do build enough affordable housing of the right sort in the right places, then people’s stay in temporary accommodation can be cut dramatically, the profound impact of homelessness can be reduced and people can rebuild their lives sooner. We’d also save millions of pounds a year to the public purse.”

She added: “If homeless families and individuals are having to stay longer in temporary accommodation because of the lack of appropriate housing for them, it’s imperative that guidance on the expected minimum standard of accommodation is given to ensure that people’s stays in temporary accommodation are positive and not a miserable life in limbo.

“To drive this forward, Scotland needs a new national homelessness strategy that works across government departments to tackle and prevent what is still a major badge of shame for our nation.”

Support Us!

Please support our work in highlighting the struggles faced by poor and vulnerable people in the UK with a small donation. Please only give as much as you can afford.



Latest News

One in four households facing homelessness are already in work

Campaigners calls for the reversal of social security benefit cuts.

‘Shocking’ impact of UK welfare cuts revealed

Impact of Tory welfare cuts on Scottish households laid bare in damning new report.

Unpaid carers unable to see a doctor because they can’t get a break from caring

Charity calls for better support for unpaid carers to enable them to take breaks from caring.

Homelessness in England soars 11% as campaigners demand £12.8bn every year for social housing

Campaigners blame a national shortage in homes for social rent and cuts to social security benefits.

130,000 families forced to live in one-bed flats, research shows

National Housing Federation calls for a £12.8bn investment in social housing.