More than 14,000 households facing Christmas in temporary accommodation in Scotland

Record numbers of households in Scotland are facing Christmas in temporary accommodation, Shelter Scotland has warned today as it launches its Winter Appeal.

More than 14,000 households facing Christmas in temporary accommodation in Scotland

At the end of March, there were already 11,665 households – including 7,280 children – in temporary accommodation but by September that had soared by more than a fifth (22%) to 14,229.

While some of the 2020 increase is attributable to people not being able to move home during lockdown, the backlog in temporary accommodation has built up over many years because there aren’t enough permanent social homes to meet Scotland’s housing need.

This week, Shelter Scotland is launching its annual Winter Appeal, asking people to donate to make sure everyone in Scotland has somewhere safe, secure and affordable to live.

Between March and October this year, the charity opened 723 cases on average each month, or the equivalent of 33 a day, and its helpline and webchat facilities answered a total of 5,063 calls for help. Its COVID-19 advice page had 53,700 unique visitors.

Alison Watson, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “This is a really difficult time for all of us. But imagine how hard it must be if you don’t have a safe home to stay in.

“This year has hit people hard. Every day we get calls for help from in desperate situations; people worried what will become of them if they lose their home, people stuck in temporary accommodation that doesn’t meet their needs and growing numbers struggling in a home that needs repairs.  

“That’s why we’re asking people to donate to Shelter Scotland this winter. People come to us for help at the toughest times of their lives. Together we can give families a home, and a reason to hope.

“In the long-run, the only way we can stop homelessness is by building enough homes for everyone. That’s why we’re calling on all political parties to build a better future by delivering the social homes that Scotland needs.”

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