One child is made homeless every 37 minutes in Scotland

Shelter Scotland has called for more social housing to be built after new figures revealed that a child has been made homeless every 37 minutes in Scotland over the past year.

One child is made homeless every 37 minutes in Scotland

Research by national charity Shelter found 14,043 children were made homeless in 2018-19 in Scotland.

During that year, 8,304 families with dependent children were made homeless, the equivalent of 23 a day.

Shelter’s Generation Homeless report also found 6,795 children were in temporary accommodation as of March 31 this year, meaning one in every 160 children in Scotland was without a home.

It said the number in temporary accommodation has risen from 4,155 in the same period in 2014, a jump of 64%.

The report also found 60 families were in emergency accommodation at the same point of the year, a 14% reduction from 2014.

The UK figures show a total of 66,836 children became homeless in the last year, one every eight minutes, with 39,548 families being forced to leave their homes.

A further 134,429 children were in temporary accommodation on March 31, a 51% jump from the same time in 2014.

Shelter Scotland deputy director, Alison Watson, said: “Children being homeless in 21st century Scotland is a badge of shame in itself but a 64% increase over the last four years up to 6,795 being homeless is completely unacceptable.

“It’s time that promises were made and kept to the children of Scotland - that we will do everything possible to prevent homelessness and build enough social homes to make sure every child has a home not just for Christmas, but permanently.”

Housing minister Kevin Stewart added: “We are clear that one person being made homeless is too many, particularly in households which include children.

“Scotland has some of the strongest rights in the world for anyone experiencing homelessness, including the right to emergency temporary accommodation.

“While this provides an important safety net in emergency situations, we are clear such arrangements must be for as short a time as possible and be of good quality.

“That is why we have invested £32.5m into Rapid Rehousing and Housing First to minimise the length of time people spend in temporary accommodation.

“We also changed the Unsuitable Accommodation Order in 2014 so that families with children and pregnant women are only able to stay in accommodation such as B&Bs for a maximum of seven days.”

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