Scottish Liberal Democrats have today demanded the SNP take “urgent” action to tackle homelessness, after an investigation by the party revealed a 22.4% increase in the number of children recorded as homeless on Christmas Day since 2015.
In 2015 there were 10,508 children categorised as homeless within the live applications on Christmas Day. In 2016 that number had reached 11,358 and in 2017 it totalled 12,858.
Scottish Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson Caron Lindsay said:
“At this time of year, we treasure having a warm home. These statistics show thousands upon thousands are not so lucky. I am furious that every year we have more children in this situation. The Government should be ashamed of itself. When are they going to sort this out by building more homes for social rent?
“Over the last three years the number of children that are listed on a live homeless application on Christmas Day has leapt up by more than 20%. That’s a devastating reality.
“Life on the streets, sofa surfing or in uncertain temporary accommodation can take a huge toll on people’s mental and physical health. It causes real disruption to children’s development too.
“It’s disgraceful that people in a country as well off as ours are plagued by this problem.
“The SNP must urgently grasp the opportunity to build more social housing and ensure councils have resources to fix poor housing. There are thousands of neglected and vacant properties across the country which, with the right incentives, could be renovated to boost the housing stock. The Conservatives also need to fix those policies putting people at greater risk of homelessness, starting with the benefit freeze and Universal Credit.”