Homelessness on increase in Scotland
November 13th 2009
The number of homeless people in Edinburgh is on the increase, with the problem being exacerbated by a shortage in affordable family accommodation. As a result, increasing pressure is being put on the city's homeless accommodation with many being forced into temporary accommodation.
The government report shows that the problem of homelessness is increasing throughout Scotland as a whole with single people, followed by individuals with children applying in the highest numbers for accommodation. Commenting on the report published on 29 September by the Scottish Government, Jamie McGrigor MSP, Shadow Minister for Communities, said: "The number of households in temporary accommodation has increased by 11 per cent over the past year and 42 per cent of those households include children.
Mr McGrigor heaped further criticism on the way in which the Scottish Government has addressed the issue of homelessness and its root causes, stating: "The number of households in temporary accommodation has more than doubled since 1999. For many vulnerable people, particularly those suffering from drug or alcohol problems, it is vital that a support system of care is in place for their entry into accommodation, especially to ensure that any children they have are protected.
Despite having been commended previously for its efforts in tackling this issue, Edinburgh council announced earlier this year: "The council will find it difficult to meet its statutory duties to provide accommodation to all homeless people by 2012 because of the acute shortage of affordable housing in the city. The homelessness strategy has a strong focus on preventing homelessness because there are simply not going to be enough homes for homeless people in the future. Edinburgh needs an additional 12,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years."