By Bill Heaney
Scottish Labour has slammed the SNP for failing Scotland’s children after new data revealed 6,135 Scottish households – nearly 1,000 of them in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute – with children have been stuck in temporary accommodation for over a year.
A further 1000 households with children have been left in temporary accommodation for 2 to 3 years.
Even more damningly, a further 420 households with children have been stuck waiting for a permanent home for over a remarkable three years.
This has been revealed just weeks after national data showed Scotland’s homelessness crisis at an all time high, with a record-breaking number of children in temporary accommodation and overall homelessness at record-breaking levels.
Scottish Labour Housing spokesperson Mark Griffin, right, said: “Spending 1000 days in temporary accommodation waiting for a home is no start in life.
“The devastating impact this will have on these young people’s will stay with them their whole lives.
“Both the SNP and the Tories’ parties are more wrapped up in spin and melodrama than in finding real solutions to this problem and fighting homelessness.
“This crisis has been allowed to spiral out of control – and it is Scotland’s children who are paying the price.
“There should not be a single child in Scotland facing such long waits to find a stable home. The SNP must take urgent action now or else this crisis will only continue to worsen.”
Distribution of time spent in temporary accommodation for households with children included in homelessness applications:
|1 month or less||1 to 6 months||6 months to 1 year||1 to 2 years||2 to 3 years||3 years or more||All|
|Argyll & Bute||40||145||80||25||5||0||295|
|Dumfries & Galloway||70||395||100||20||0||0||580|
|Perth & Kinross||80||210||35||10||0||0||335|
The parliamentary debate:
Mark Griffin (Central Scotland) (Scottish Labour Party): To ask the Scottish Government what the longest length of time is that a child has spent in temporary accommodation in each local authority area since 2016.
Paul McLennan SNP Minister: The Scottish Government collects information on the composition of households making homelessness applications through the HL1 data collection. This includes information on the number of children in the household. The HL3 data collection collects information about temporary accommodation placements connected to homelessness applications. An additional question was added to the HL3 data collection in 2019 to ask if a child is in the temporary accommodation placement. Although all local authorities have been able to provide this data from April 2022, as this is the first time a full set of data has been available, this is subject to on-going quality assurance. Therefore, information relating to the presence of children within temporary accommodation placements has been derived by linking household records between the HL1 and HL3 data collections. However, it is important to note that households may sometimes make alternative arrangements for children when entering temporary accommodation and therefore it is not always the case that children included in the HL1 return are present in associated temporary accommodation placements. It can also be the case that children are present for only part of the stay in temporary accommodation e.g. as part of shared custody arrangements.
Data on temporary accommodation taken from the HL3 data collection is only available for all local authorities from 2017-18, however, this includes temporary accommodation placements which commenced prior to 2017-18. In addition, some local authorities have provided data prior to 2017-18 and, where this is available it has been included.
Information at individual (person or household) level cannot be provided due to data confidentiality.
* Temporary accommodation placement information (HL3) was only provided for all local authorities from 2017-18. Where older data is available, this has been included.