Highest ever number of children in temporary accommodation

By Lucy Ashton

Scottish Liberal Democrat communities spokesperson Willie Rennie MSP has today called on the SNP/Green Government to take urgent action to combat homelessness across the country, after official figures published today showed there were almost 10,000 children in temporary accommodation in 2022-23, which is the highest ever figure since records began in 2002.

Figures show that in 2022-23:  

  • 9,595 children were in temporary accommodation in 2022-23. In 2007, when the SNP first came to power, it was 5,455.
  • 39,006 homelessness applications were recorded, an increase of 9%.
  • As at 31st March 2023, there were 29,652 open homelessness applications and 15,039 households in temporary accommodation which are also the highest figures for these measures since records began in 2002.

Mr Rennie, pictured right,  said:  “These figures are nothing short of heartbreaking. Both our governments should be utterly ashamed of themselves.    

“The Scottish and UK governments have presided over inaction after inaction. The SNP failed to build thousands of homes promised for social rent, while the Conservatives’ devastating cuts to social security have put people at greater risk of eviction and homelessness.

“Ensuring that everyone has a place to call home is a basic responsibility of any government, and that’s why we need immediate action.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats are absolutely focussed on preventing and supporting those at risk of being homeless. If the Scottish Government do not listen to these calls, we could see even bigger increases in those plunged into homelessness.”

Table with full figures since 2002 can be found here. Children in temporary accommodation figures can be found in T28.

To tackle homelessness, Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling for the Scottish Government to:    

  • Take forward the Housing First and Rapid Rehousing principles to end rough sleeping and homelessness, by providing both housing and other support services to individuals in need.      
  • Address the additional challenges for young homeless people with special pathways to link suitable jobs and training to housing.      
  • Bring forward new legislation which would strengthen the duties on public bodies to prevent homelessness.      
  • Offer help to renovate loans to bring derelict homes back into use.      
  • Build 60,000 affordable homes to help address homelessness, including 40,000 for social rent – a more ambitious target than the SNP/Green Government’s target.    
  • Increase the number of homes constructed for social rent and re-establish social renting as a valid long-term option for people.  
  • Full report can be found here  

Artwork by Jane Heaney

Leave a Reply