Scottish Liberal Democrats have warned that the use of temporary accommodation mustn’t become a leaning post in efforts to meet the Scottish Government’s homelessness targets.
The warning comes after figures published today showed that while there has been a drop in homelessness, there has been a steady increase in the number of households living in temporary accommodation.
In some local authority areas, the number of homeless households living in temporary accommodation has increased by as much as 50 percent. In the Highland council area, there were 588 households in temporary accommodation in September 2014 compared to 386 the previous year.
The figures showed 4,586 children were living in temporary accommodation. Scottish Liberal Democrats have previously published figures showing over 1,500 children under the age of 10 were living in temporary accommodation, which can include hostels and Bed and Breakfasts.
Mr Hume said:
“These figures are a stark reminder that you don’t have to live on the street to be homeless. It’s appalling that over 4,500 children are living in temporary accommodation which can include not only local authority housing but Bed and Breakfasts or hostels.
“Temporary accommodation cannot become a leaning post in efforts to meet homelessness targets . If we are to meaningfully meet our homelessness obligations, individuals and families must be placed in long term housing. This would give households the security and stability they need to break the cycle of poverty.
“The development of social housing has continued to decline on the SNP’s watch and completions are now at one of the lowest levels in 10 years. Audit Scotland has said that Scotland needs at least 14,000 more socially rented homes to meet demand.
“This situation will only worsen as people buy more of the estate ahead of Right to Buy reaching an end in 2017.
“SNP ministers have only nurtured Scotland’s housing crisis by reneging on their manifesto pledge to build 6,000 homes each year for social rent. Scottish Liberal Democrats want to build a fairer society which enables everyone to get on in life and that is why we will be pressing the SNP housing minister to get a grip of Scotland’s shameful housing crisis.”