Number of homeless children in Scotland moves towards 5,000

There have been calls for a new national homelessness strategy for Scotland. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

There have been calls for a new national homelessness strategy for Scotland. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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Almost 5,000 children in Scotland were homeless and living in temporary accommodation at the end of 2015, official figures have revealed.

The latest quarterly statistics on homelessness showed that on 31 December there were 10,467 individuals and families who were homeless and living somewhere on a temporary basis, a rise of 2 per cent on December 2014. Over the same period, the number of children in this situation increased by 543 to 4,876 – a rise of 13 per cent.

Housing campaigners and opposition politicians condemned the rise in homeless youngsters living in temporary accommodation – which can include council homes, hostels and B&Bs.

Graeme Brown, director of housing charity Shelter Scotland, said: “This is the third annual rise in the number of homeless children in Scotland. A 13 per cent rise is simply unacceptable.”

Mr Brown argued there needs to be a new national homelessness strategy for Scotland.

An SNP spokesman said: “We do not want families to be in temporary accommodation for any longer than they need to be and have taken this 
issue up directly with local authorities.”

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