Scots fear they’re two pay cheques away from homelessness

Homeless

Scots worry about the security of their tenancies 

19th December 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

One third of Scots fear homelessness, a new survey has revealed.

Some 41% said they were only two pay cheques away from facing homelessness, the study by charity Street Soccer Scotland found.

Those who rent felt more at risk, with 41% saying they believed that they or someone they know could lose their home in future, compared with 25% of homeowners.

Younger age groups were most likely to fear being made homeless, with 39% of people aged 16-24 surveyed claiming themselves or an acquaintance could be at risk, which dropped marginally to 37% for those aged 25-34 and to 36% for 35 to 44-year-olds.

Older people were significantly less likely to fear homelessness, with a quarter of those aged 55-64 concerned it could happen to them or someone they know, falling to 18% for over-65s.

More than half (52%) of the 1,083 people surveyed in late October said they would not know what to do if they became homeless, while a quarter said they or an acquaintance have already experienced homelessness.

Scottish Government statistics show 34,100 households made homelessness applications to local authorities across Scotland in 2016/17.

Street Soccer Scotland founder and chief executive David Duke, who was homeless for three years, said: "We need to end the stigma of homelessness – the us and them mentality. As these figures show, it can happen to any of us.

"Homelessness does not discriminate. We often think of it as something that happens to other people - to certain people in society. Our research shows that far from being an isolated problem, the risk of homelessness is too high for too many people in Scotland.

“It doesn't just apply to people on the fringes of society, we're talking about people who have jobs and mortgages who are also at risk, as well as people renting their homes. People who think it could never happen to them.”

He added that removing the stigma around homelessness could mean people would be “less embarrassed” about getting assistance earlier, which he hoped would help prevent them losing their home.