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SNP must ‘get a grip’ on rise in homelessness

The SNP need to urgently ‘get a grip’ on the increase in the number of people who are currently homeless across Scotland, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

The number of homeless households has risen by three per cent over the last year and now stands at almost 29,000.

Almost 14,000 households have been “left in the limbo” of temporary accommodation as of March 2022. Over 8,000 children are also suffering living in temporary accommodation, a 17% rise since March 2021.

Homeless applications are also now taking almost three weeks on average to process, an increase from 16 days last year.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Social Justice, Housing and Local Government Secretary Miles Briggs says SNP Ministers must take responsibility for their failings over a rise in the number of people who are now without secure accommodation.

The Scottish Conservatives have committed in their last two election manifestos to ending rough sleeping by 2026, as well as increasing housebuilding across all sectors to 25,000 completions per year.

 

Scottish Conservative Shadow Social Justice, Housing and Local Government Secretary Miles Briggs MSP, said: “One individual or household being homeless in Scotland is one too many.

“On the SNP’s watch, the number of people who are currently homeless is only heading in the wrong direction. Ministers need to get a grip and take responsibility for their failings to secure enough secure accommodation for those who are most vulnerable.

“These problems are only likely to exacerbate during the cost-of-living crisis that is hitting hard right now and will continue to do so in the coming weeks and months.

“Rough sleeping and homelessness are a blight on our communities across Scotland and for too long the SNP have failed to act. Crucial housebuilding targets, particularly in relation to social housing have been missed year after year.

“Most shockingly, a further 1,250 children are now in the limbo of living in temporary accommodation which will be causing them and their families huge anxiety.

“The Scottish Conservatives are fully committed to ending rough sleeping by 2026 and have outlined plans to ensure 25,000 new homes are built across Scotland each year. We need to urgently see SNP Ministers match this ambition and reduce the number of homeless households in Scotland.”

Notes to editors:

  • Homelessness applications in Scotland has increased in Scotland by 3%. Following a decrease in 2020-21, there has been a rise of 3% in homeless applications. (Scottish Government, Homelessness in Scotland: 2021/22, 18 August 2022, link).
  • There has been an increase by 3% of homeless households. This increased from 28,042 in 2020-21 to 28,882 in 2021-22. (Scottish Government, Homelessness in Scotland: 2021/22, 18 August 2022, link).

 

  • There has been an increase in Households in temporary accommodation by 4%. This increased from 13,359 in 2020-21 to 13,945 in 2021-22. (Scottish Government, Homelessness in Scotland: 2021/22, 18 August 2022, link).

 

  • There are 32,592 adults and 14,372 children registered homeless in Scotland currently. This totals 46,964 people. (Scottish Government, Homelessness in Scotland: 2021/22, 18 August 2022, link).

 

  • The number of homeless adults increased by 6%. This is compared to 2020-21. (Scottish Government, Homelessness in Scotland: 2021/22, 18 August 2022, p. 7, link).

 

  • The number of homeless children increased by 17%. This is compared to 2020-21. The number of households with children increased by 11% in 2021-22 compared to 2020-21, totalling 4,245. (Scottish Government, Homelessness in Scotland: 2021/22, 18 August 2022, p. 7, link).

 

  • Households with children spend more time in temporary accommodation. Households with children are 4% more likely to spend 7 to 12 months in temporary accommodation than households without children and they are also 6% more likely to spend more than a year in temporary accommodation. (Scottish Government, Homelessness in Scotland: 2021/22, 18 August 2022, p. 23, link).

 

  • Homeless applications on average taking longer by three days. It now takes an average 19 days for an homeless application to be assessed which is up three days compared to 2020-21. (Scottish Government, Homelessness in Scotland: 2021/22, 18 August 2022, p. 23, link).