Councils urged to help 7,500 children out of temporary accommodation

Council leaders are being urged to commit to building safe and permanent social homes after a new report found there are 7,510 children currently living in temporary accommodation across Scotland.

Councils urged to help 7,500 children out of temporary accommodation

Alison Watson

Shelter Scotland has accused councils of failing to provide enough affordable homes for long-term occupancy and said they must “urgently step up and tackle the deepening housing emergency” ahead of May’s local elections.

According to the report, in Glasgow alone, there are 2,480 children in temporary accommodation, while 1,515 children in Edinburgh face the same situation. In Aberdeen, a household with children in temporary accommodation will on average spend 103 days before getting a permanent residence, while in Dundee that figure rises to 285 days.

The charity’s analysis of council housing plans suggests a minimum of 7,000 social homes are needed over the next five years in Edinburgh, 3,675 in Glasgow, 853 in Aberdeen and 655 in Dundee. The report found the local authorities in those cities failed to deliver on their previous affordable housing targets.

“Right now thousands of households, including thousands of children, are trapped in temporary accommodation,” said Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson. “Often they’re living in cramped conditions which are entirely unsuitable.

“Many of them have been living in so-called temporary accommodation for months or, in some cases, years.

“Living in temporary accommodation can have devastating effects. It disrupts children’s learning, it places huge strain on family life, it can ruin people’s health. In the face of a deepening cost-of-living crisis this problem is only going to get worse unless action is taken now. 

“As more people are exposed to the risk of homelessness, only social housing can stem the tide. The Scottish Government has promised the cash for new social homes, we need to keep fighting to make sure they’re actually built.”

“With the local elections just around the corner our cities’ leaders can’t shirk their responsibilities. We need them to step up and finally contribute to building a future where everyone in Scotland, without exception, has their right to housing upheld. 

“The scale of the challenge is clear, but council leaders must rise to meet it. The thousands of children without the security and safety a permanent home provides can’t wait a second longer.”

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