More Scots being made homeless

Homeless family

Most applications for homelessness support were in Glasgow 

26th July 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

New figures show one household is made homeless every 17.5 minutes in Scotland.

Scottish Government data reveals an increase in those being declared homeless with 36,465 people asking for help from their local council in 2018-19, up 3% on the previous year.

Shelter Scotland said the figures pointed to a “collective failure” and questioned how much longer the country would tolerate the current housing emergency.

Glasgow saw the biggest increase in the number of people applying for homelessness status with 5,679 applications last year, up 8% on 2017-18.

It was responsible for 95% of the 3,535 cases where a council did not fulfil its legal obligation to offer temporary accommodation to a homeless person.

David MacIver, Shelter Scotland Glasgow Community Hub Manager, said: “These shocking figures come as no surprise to me and our team in Glasgow, as day-in and day-out we are helping people who have been turned away by the council, despite having a right to a home.

“We recognise that the council has agreed to a voluntary review on its awful failure to accommodate record, but in the meantime, we urge the council to do all it can to treat homeless people with the dignity and respect they deserve and grant them their legal right to a home.”

The number of homeless children in the city also rose for the fifth year in a row, with almost 2,000 living in temporary accommodation.

Shelter’s Gordon MacRae said: “This is the human cost of our collective failure to build the homes we need. On an industrial scale, thousands of men, women and children are being denied their most basic right to a safe home.

"The question every citizen of Scotland must ask ourselves is how much longer are we prepared to tolerate this.”

Some 620 cases of unsuitable accommodation offered to vulnerable people or families were recorded - an increase of 225 compared to the previous year. Of these, 465 were in Edinburgh.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said measures were being taken to tackle the problem.

“Our Ending Homelessness Together action plan sets out a range of measures that support our ambition to eradicate rough sleeping, transform temporary accommodation and end homelessness altogether,” he said.

"There are multiple, complex reasons why people sleep rough - many have experienced drug or alcohol addiction problems or suffer from poor mental health and require specialist support, in addition to a home, to tackle these issues.

"We are investing in the Housing First programme because we recognise a permanent home as the best, stable platform to address needs and build a life."