Children at risk as MSP demands action on local homelessness

Helensburgh from the air Robert Ryan

Homelessness figures for West Dunbartonshire have gone down – but only marginally.

There were 1117 homelessness applications in 2017 compared to 1155 applications in 2016. That’s a decrease of 38 applications or 3%.

Concerned local Labour MSP  Jackie Baillie is calling on the Scottish Government to do more to tackle the issue of homelessness after it was revealed there have been a 21% increase in Argyll and Bute’s homeless applications.

Figures released in January by the Scottish Government showed that in Argyll,  which includes Helensburgh, Cardross and the Lochside, the number of homeless applications in the area rose from 418 between January and September 2016 to 506 between January and September 2017. This is an increase of 21% over the course of one year.

Jackie has welcomed the figures for West Dunbartonshire, which show a fall of 3% in applications for the same period, but the levels of homelessness remain high.

Nationally, homelessness applications rose from 17,467 between April and September 2016, to 17,797 for the same period in 2017, an increase of two percent.

These statistics come at a time when homelessness among children is rising nationally. Scottish Government figures show that 6,581 children across Scotland were living in temporary accommodation due to homelessness as of September 2017. This has risen by 10% since September 2016, when 5,987 children were living in temporary accommodation.

Jackie commented: “While I welcome the reduction in homeless applications in the West Dunbartonshire area, I am deeply concerned by the sharp rise in applications in Argyll and Bute. This places many people, in particular children, at risk. This problem is not just limited to Argyll and Bute, so I am calling on the Scottish Government to do more to try to prevent homelessness from occurring so that fewer people are left to suffer without a home.”




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