Rise in crisis grant applications shows ‘human cost of housing crisis’

Shelter_Scotland_360x180Shelter Scotland has said the latest Scottish Welfare Fund statistics from the Scottish Government show the human cost of the housing crisis and welfare reform.

The latest figures cover the period from April-June 2017 and show a marked increase on the same period last year.

Adam Lang, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, said: “These funds are a vital lifeline of support for many struggling households and today’s figures show once more the human cost to Scotland’s housing crisis and the daily struggles faced by thousands of households to keep a roof over their head and simply survive.

“An 11% increase in applications for crisis grants means that 42,005 households needed help to keep a roof over their heads in the three months to June 2017. Worryingly, there was a 29% increase in the recorded reason for applying for a crisis grant as being ‘emergency - nowhere to stay and may resort to rough sleeping’.

“There was also a 38% increase in Community Care Grant applications for the reason of ‘helping people to stay in the community – help to avoid becoming homeless’.

“We are very concerned that unless the roll-out of universal credit is halted and fixed, many more households will be forced into crisis, get into arrears and have to depend on the welfare fund.”

Mr Lang added: “High housing costs combined with low income, welfare reform and stagnant wages are pushing more and more households into poverty and putting them at greater risk of homelessness.”

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