1,500 children homeless over Christmas reveals MSP

Jim Hume MSP said new figures that revealed more than 1,500 children under the age of 10 were without a home. Picture: TSPL

Jim Hume MSP said new figures that revealed more than 1,500 children under the age of 10 were without a home. Picture: TSPL

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THE number of children living in temporary accommodation over the Christmas period is “appalling”, a Liberal Democrat MSP has said.

Jim Hume said new figures that revealed more than 1,500 children under the age of 10 were without a home reflected “the shocking extent of Scotland’s housing crisis”.

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The Scottish Liberal Democrats obtained the data from two thirds of the country’s local authorities to find out how many households with a child aged below 10 were living in temporary accommodation.

There were 471 in Glasgow - the highest number - while there were 281 in Edinburgh, 118 in Aberdeenshire and 40 in Dundee.

Earlier this month, housing charity Shelter said it was “completely unacceptable’’ that more than 4,000 children will be homeless in Scotland over Christmas and called on the Government to build at least 10,000 new social homes each year.

Mr Hume said: “It is appalling that over 1,500 children under the age of 10 will spend Christmas in temporary accommodation. This reflects the shocking extent of Scotland’s housing crisis.

Report reveals ‘vicious cycle’ for young homeless

“Temporary accommodation can include housing such as B&Bs and hostels. Whilst households with young children continue to languish on waiting lists for socially rented housing, the number of completions continues to decline on the SNP’s watch.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats remain concerned that this situation will only worsen ahead of Right To Buy reaching an end in 2017. Safe, warm housing is the bedrock for stable family settings. We stand fully behind Shelter Scotland in their campaign to the Scottish Government to build more homes for social rent.”

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “All children have the right to a roof over their heads at all times of the year. Across Scotland we are making substantial progress tackling homelessness, with fewer households with children living in temporary accommodation in recent years. The vast majority of those children live in good quality, well managed social housing and will be waiting to move into more settled accommodation.

“The provision of affordable homes is a top priority for this Government and is a vital part of our drive to secure economic growth, promote social justice, strengthen communities and tackle inequality.

“This Government has delivered more social and affordable houses in the last seven financial years than the previous administration did over a similar period and we are using innovative ways to increase housing supply.

“We are investing over £1.7 billion to deliver our target of 30,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this Parliament, working with local authorities we are building record numbers of council houses, while we have abolished the Right To Buy which will protect up to 15,500 social homes from sale over the next 10 years.

“We are also working with Shelter to address the issue of empty homes.”

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