More Children Facing Christmas In Temporary Accommodation

3 November 2016, 06:15 | Updated: 3 November 2016, 06:17

Hundreds more children are expected to face Christmas without a permanent home this year compared with 2015, a housing charity has warned.

Scottish Government figures published earlier this year showed a rise in the number of children living in temporary accommodation in 2015/16, up by 591 on 2014/15 figures to 5,224.

Shelter Scotland said new UK-wide research also shows many working families are ''living on a knife-edge'', with almost a third only able to pay their mortgage or rent for a month if they lost their income.

Of the 8,381 adults polled by YouGov - including 1,581 who have children - 17% said they would not be able to cover the cost of their housing at all if they lost their job, while 32% said they could do so for just one month.

Shelter Scotland said the findings ''raise the very real threat of increased homelessness among working families'' if they suffer a change in their circumstances.

Earlier this year, the charity launched a national campaign aimed at ''debunking the myths'' about the types of people who become homeless and the causes of homelessness.

It called for the Scottish Government and councils to renew their focus on tackling the problem.

Alison Watson, deputy director of Shelter Scotland, said: ''It's damning evidence that once again we see a big rise in the number of children in Scotland who will wake up without a permanent home this Christmas.
''There are now more than 1,000 extra children without a home than two years ago. This shows that despite the efforts of local authorities and the Scottish Government, the problem is getting worse, not better.''

She added: ''The daily struggles faced by nearly half of working families in Scotland and the frightening possibility of losing their home is deeply concerning.

''Scotland already has a big homelessness problem and it's clear that even a small shift in fortune for some would be enough to push them over the edge into a spiral of debt and possible homelessness.

''With so many families at risk of homelessness, we need a much more robust safety net in place to catch people if they do suffer the human tragedy of losing their home.''