17.5% increase in children homeless at Christmas since 2015

Christmas at St patrick's 4

Christmas crib at St Patrick’s Church in Dumbarton underscores the problems of homelessness in West Dunbartonshire. Picture by Bill Heaney

By Democrat reporter

Scottish Liberal Democrats have described it as a “tragedy” that 12,300 children didn’t have a home to call their own last Christmas and called for a “social rent revolution”.

Parliamentary questions by the party have shown that in 2015 there were 10,508 children categorised as homeless within the live applications on Christmas Day. In 2018, it totalled 12,343.

Scottish Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson Caron Lindsay said:“Housing is a basic human need and it is a key responsibility of any government to ensure that people have a warm and secure home, especially at this time of year.

“These new statistics show that over 12,000 children – almost the capacity of the Hydro [entertainment centre in Glasgow] – are not so lucky. 

“What’s more, there were almost 2,000 more children homeless last Christmas compared to 2015 – a 17.5% increase. That is a tragedy.

“Life on the streets, sofa surfing or in uncertain temporary accommodation can take a huge toll on people’s mental and physical health. It causes real disruption to children’s development too.

“Scotland needs a social rent revolution to help fix the housing market. Building more homes for social rent would re-establish it as a valid long-term option for people, and help drive down the cost of other types of housing.

“The Conservatives must also fix their cruel policies which are putting people at greater risk of homelessness, starting with the broken system of Universal Credit.”

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie said: “Being homeless is hard on any individual but it is particularly hard on children. The fact that the number of homeless children is growing is a damning indictment on the Scottish Government who are responsible for ensuring that everyone has a roof over their heads.”

The SNP once again ducked the question with their usual “no comment” response to our questions about this.




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