Scottish councils experience fall in homelessness applications

Homelessness applications have fallen again, although there has been a rise in the number of children living in temporary accommodation.

Homeless applications have fallen in Scotland. Picture: Pixabay
Homeless applications have fallen in Scotland. Picture: Pixabay

Councils in Scotland dealt with 34,662 applications during 2015/16, down by 4 per cent on the previous year.

A total of 28,000 cases were assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness, 5 per cent lower than 2014/15.

There were 10,555 households in temporary accommodation, a decrease of 12 households since last year. This figure has been slightly decreasing since 2011.

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But 2015/16 saw a rise in the number of children in temporary accommodation, up by 591 or 13 per cent on 2014/15 figures.

Of the 34,662 homelessness applications in 2015/16, 14,667 (42 per cent) had been living with friends and relatives while 11,927 (34 per cent) had been living in their own accommodation.

A total of 1,352 applicants (4 per cent) slept rough the night before applying for assistance.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “We are doing everything we can to make sure everyone has access to a warm and safe place to stay, and I welcome the decrease in the number of homeless applications and households being assessed as homeless.

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“It is, however, our aim to stop people becoming homeless in the first place, which is much better for our people and our communities, and of course our homelessness services.

“While there are many reasons for families staying in temporary accommodation, I am disappointed in the increase in the number of children in temporary accommodation.

“Although the majority of temporary accommodation is good-quality, well-managed social housing which is of the exact same standard as permanent accommodation, I am keen to see these numbers decrease and people to have a settled home.

“We must address the various reasons for families staying in temporary accommodation and I will continue to work together with local authorities and partners in the best interests of all households looking for permanent accommodation.”

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