‘Tragedy’ as 2500 city kids are homeless
ALMOST 2500 children were registered as homeless in Glasgow last Christmas.
Official Scottish Government statistics show the city had the highest number out of 12,300 children who were included in live homeless applications across Scotland.
The numbers were released in response to a question at the Scottish Parliament by the Liberal Democrats.
Edinburgh City Council was the second highest with 2153 children in homeless applications.
Outside the two largest cities figures dropped sharply, with South Lanarkshire Council having the third largest number at 796.
Caron Lindsay, Scottish Liberal Democrat housing spokeswoman, said the figures were a ”tragedy”.
She said: “Housing is a basic human need and it is a key responsibility of any government to ensure that people have a warm and secure home, especially at this time of year.
“These new statistics show that over 12,000 children – almost the capacity of the Hydro – are not so lucky.”
The stats come as Labour revealed a rise in people citing mental health problems as a reason for becoming homeless, an increase of 99% in the five years up to 2018-19, to 6031.
Over the same period there was a 64% increase in the number of people who became homeless because of physical health problems, with this affecting 2340 people last year.
Communities spokeswoman, Pauline McNeill, Glasgow MSP, said: “The SNP’s lack of action on homelessness prevention is disappointing. Local authorities are chronically underfunded meaning frontline services are struggling to cope with the demand for support.”
She added: “The Scottish Government’s commitment to rapid rehousing is of course welcome, but without investment in preventing homelessness the issue continues to grow.”
The Scottish Government however, said it was investing in initiatives to reduce homelessness and build more social rented homes.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Scotland has some of the strongest rights in the world for anyone experiencing homelessness, including the right to emergency temporary accommodation when homeless.
“While this provides an important safety net, 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 £32.5million 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 2017 so families with children and pregnant women are only able to stay in accommodation such as B&Bs for a maximum of seven days.”
Glasgow had the highest number of children registered as homeless in Scotland, according to the new figures