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Charities hit out at Scottish government over treatment of homeless families

Statistics revealed that homeless families with children in Scotland face almost a year living in temporary accommodation

CHARITIES hit out at the Scottish government today after new stats revealed that homeless families with children in Scotland face almost a year living in temporary accommodation.

Analysis of the Scottish government’s 2020-21 homelessness statistics show children are facing increasingly lengthy spells stuck in limbo, with average stays increasing year on year since 2017. 

According to the research, a couple with children now spends almost a year in temporary accommodation, with average stays now at 341 days.

In comparison, those without children in Scotland spent considerably less time waiting for a home. On average, the wait for those with kids was five months longer. 

Similarly, single parents typically wait an extra 53 days compared with their childless counterparts.

Scottish Labour slammed the disgraceful delays in moving families into permanent housing, describing the situation as a “scandal.”

The party’s housing spokesman, Mark Griffin, said: “Any civilised society should be getting children into proper homes as a matter of urgency — but we are falling woefully short.

“It is shameful that some children will go through the best part of an entire school year stuck in limbo.”

Since 2018-19, the average stay for single parents has increased by 25 days, or 12 per cent, while couples with children have faced an astonishing 30 per cent increase, with average stays rising by over two-and-a-half months. 

These are both well above the average increase of 16 days across all households, with Labour claiming the situation has been allowed to spiral out of control. 

Mr Griffin said: “We need a real strategy for tackling homelessness that doesn’t rely on endless stays in temporary accommodation.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Temporary accommodation can offer an important emergency safety net for anyone who finds themselves homeless, but we recognise that it should be a purely temporary measure, particularly for families with children.

“Local authorities share our ambition to ensure stays in temporary accommodation are short-term, and we will be working with them to achieve this.”

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