43,000 in Scotland became homeless in the last year

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Credit: Flickr / Garry Knight

Isabel Thomas
News Editor

The new report revealed that people lost their home every 18 minutes in Scotland last year

Shelter’s annual report has revealed that around 43,000 people became homeless in Scotland in the last year with homelessness applications rising for the first time in nine years.

For the whole of Britain, the overall number of people registered as homeless in Britain rose for the third year running, with a total of nearly 320,000. This amounts to a year-on-year increase of 13,000 – a 4 per cent rise.

This figure is made up of official rough-sleeping, temporary accommodation, social service figures, and Scottish Government homelessness statistics. However, this is likely an underestimate of the true figure as it does not take into account the “hidden” homeless.

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.”

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.”