The number of children becoming trapped in temporary accommodation in Scotland has surged by 17 per cent in just a year, official figures show.
More than 8,600 children were stuck in makeshift homes between March 2021 and 2022 as part of almost 14,000 households living in temporary accommodation, also up four per cent in the last year. The time households spend in temporary accommodation also increased for the fifth straight year, up to 207 days on average.
The rises come as the Scottish government has increased efforts to tackle rough sleeping following the Covid-19 pandemic. Overall rough sleeping was down to its lowest point in two decades, the figures show, with 2,129 households reporting rough sleeping during the previous three months and 1,304 the night before applying to local councils for support.
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But Matt Downie, chief executive of Crisis, said the figures are a “wake up call” and called for greater efforts to prevent families falling into homelessness in the first place, especially as households are facing the financial pressures of the cost of living crisis.
“Scotland made huge progress in tackling rough sleeping during the pandemic,” said Downie. “But the fact that more people are spending longer periods of time trapped in temporary accommodation is completely unacceptable.
“The best way to end homelessness is to prevent it from happening in the first place. By offering people support earlier, and by widening responsibility for preventing homelessness, we can start to reduce the numbers of people in temporary accommodation and make sure everyone has a safe and secure place to call home.”