A CHILDREN’S welfare charity has described a “scandalous” increasing number of homeless youths in Glasgow as “deeply concerning”.
In just four years, the number of young people residing in temporary accommodation has almost doubled.
Figures have revealed that as of March 2020, 2385 children were deemed as homeless in Glasgow.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has called on the Scottish Government to step up in ensuring that those falling into homeless accommodation are provided with enough money to “live with dignity”.
Joanna Barrett, NSPCC Scotland policy and public affairs manager, said: “These figures give a deeply concerning picture of the rising number of families facing destitution in Glasgow over the past four years.
“Our own research has shown that years of austerity have had a harrowing impact on vulnerable families in Scotland, with some families struggling to obtain secure housing, adequate food and basic necessities.
“Now, with the pandemic pushing families into even deeper financial insecurity, the need to tackle this issue is greater than ever.
“The Scottish Government needs to ensure that all families in the country have enough money to live with dignity, not just in response to the pandemic but in the long term.”
Meanwhile, Scottish Labour leadership candidate, Anas Sarwar, called for a commitment to end the “scandal” of thousands of children living in temporary accommodation for months-on-end.
He said: “At a time when home has become a place for school, work and rest, we must commit to ending housing inequality.
“With the ban on evictions due to be lifted in just eight weeks and household debt on the rise during this pandemic, many more families across Scotland face the very real threat of losing their homes.
“Thousands of children languishing in temporary accommodation for months-on-end was shameful in normal times, but the idea of families squashed into rooms together during lockdown should spur us all into action.
“That’s why we should commit to capping the length of time children can spend in temporary accommodation to three months, switch the hardship loan scheme to grants, build 60,000 new homes over the next five years, and deliver a fair funding deal for councils that ends the cycle of SNP cuts so that they can tackle the homelessness crisis.”
Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart, said:“Temporary accommodation can offer an important emergency safety net for anyone who finds themselves homeless, and it should be a purely temporary measure. That’s why we announced in May that we would be extending the unsuitable accommodation order to all homeless households, a year ahead of when we originally planned to.
“As the pandemic continues and variant strains of the virus are now moving throughout Scotland the threat to public health is considerable. This is why we are extending the temporary exceptions until the end of June to allow stays in emergency temporary accommodation in response to COVID-19. This ensures that the health of those in such accommodation is prioritised and we are keeping them safe.
“Children have been protected by the unsuitable accommodation order since it came into effect in 2014, limiting their stay there. We have allocated £37.5 million to prioritise settled accommodation and reduce use of temporary accommodation for all households including those with children.
“Funding for more affordable housing is at the heart of the Scottish Budget, contributing to our net-zero ambitions while helping to ensure everyone has a home that meets their needs.
“We have already delivered nearly 97,000 affordable homes since 2007, and are determined to build on that achievement.
“We recognise the importance of delivering more affordable homes and that’s why in November we increased the interim funding for the Affordable Housing Supply Programme in 2021-22 from £300 million to £500 million.”