Kids staying in temporary housing for nearly 1,500 days in some councils

'Deep concern' for Scots facing homelessness amid multi-year-long stays in temporary housing.

Children in parts of Scotland are being forced to stay in temporary accommodation for nearly 1,500 days.

Figures from Freedom of Information (FOI) requests show the average time spent living in such accommodation has now exceeded 100 days in most Scottish council areas.

But some local authorities are seeing average stays of more than 14 times longer than the national average.

Fife Council saw the worst statistics with 1,215 days being the average stay for all ages in temporary housing while the figure rose to 1,493 days for children.

Some 15,039 households are reported to be living in temporary accommodation including 9,595 children – a 9% increase since last year.

The Scottish Conservatives, which obtained the data, said it comes after several councils declared a housing emergency and the Scottish Government cut the housing budget by £166m.

Tory MSP Miles Briggs said the figures are ‘deeply concerning’.

Miles Briggs, MSP for Lothian and the party’s shadow secretary for housing, said: “We are deeply concerned that for many people living in temporary accommodation it isn’t temporary at all.

“The average stay is over 100 days for people. It’s quite clear that’s not temporary at all.

“For many councils in the country it’s even worse than that. We are seeing people living in these temporary accommodations for years.

“It’s deeply concerning and a symbol of the fact we have a housing crisis across Scotland.”

Briggs said temporary housing can cause problems for children in education while there is an ongoing issue with safety as some people are placed into guest houses and hotels.

He said Scottish Government administrations have not done anything about the issue for the last 17 years.

Briggs added: “What we need to see now is the Scottish Government sitting down with councils to look at what resources are needed for a long-term solution to this.”

He said ministers should look at preventative measures to stop homelessness and falling into temporary housing.

“It’s clear we need something radically different in Scotland,” he said.

Housing minister Paul McLennan said: “Tackling homelessness is a key priority for the Scottish Government and our Ending Homelessness Together action plan has been developed with expert input.

“Scotland has the strongest rights across the UK nations for people experiencing homelessness, and anyone threatened with or experiencing homelessness is entitled to temporary accommodation.

“Since 2020 we have provided over £1.1m of funding to support rapid rehousing welcome centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh to provide immediate access to accommodation and support.

“The UK Government’s no recourse to public funds policy prevents some people from accessing assistance and we continue to call on the UK Government to change this policy.

“Increasing housing supply is key to reducing the pressure on temporary accommodation.

“We will invest £556m in affordable homes across Scotland next year and continue to work with partners to increase the delivery of more affordable homes, the majority of which will be for social rent, including supporting acquisitions of existing properties.” 

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