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Around 43,000 people in Scotland became homeless last year

Figures from Shelter Scotland show one person lost their home every 18 minutes.

Despair: Spiralling rents and lack of social housing contributors to crisis (file pic). PA

A report has indicated 43,000 people, including children, became homeless in Scotland during 2017.

The figures from Shelter Scotland found one person lost their home every 18 minutes.

Across the UK, the number of people living on the streets rose for the third straight year, with 320,000 estimated to be homeless.

Across the UK, the number of people living on the streets rose for the third straight year, with 320,000 estimated to be homeless.

In its annual landmark review on homelessness, the housing charity combined official rough-sleeping, temporary accommodation, social services figures and Scottish Government homelessness statistics.

However, they suggest the true figure of homelessness is likely to be even higher.

Alison Watson, deputy director of Shelter Scotland, said: “It’s unforgivable that almost 320,000 people in Britain have been swept up by the housing crisis and now have no place to call home. Around 43,000 people were made homeless in Scotland last year.

“Due to a perfect storm of spiralling rents, very harsh welfare cuts and a major lack of social housing, record numbers of people are sleeping out on the streets, stuck in poor quality accommodation or in a cramped hostel room.”

“This year we mark our 50th anniversary, but we aren’t celebrating as our help is needed more than ever.

“Last year Shelter Scotland’s advice services helped more than 21,000 people – our highest ever. That’s why we’re asking the public to support us this winter, so that we can answer as many calls as possible and have trained advisers on hand when people need them most.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are determined to bring an end to homelessness and rough sleeping in Scotland.

“While temporary accommodation provides an important safety net in emergency situations, we want the time anyone has to spend there to be as short as possible.

“That is why are working to transform the homelessness system so that people can secure a permanent home far more quickly.”

Scottish Labour’s spokeswoman for equalities, housing and social security Pauline McNeill said: “The Scottish Parliament introduced world leading legislation on homelessness but under this government’s watch homelessness applications and rough sleeping have increased.

“People are falling through the cracks because of brutal cuts to social security and local government. This cannot go on.”


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