More than a class full of children are falling into homelessness every day in Scotland. Shocking isn’t it? New statistics released by the Scottish Government have revealed record breaking numbers of people living in homelessness in Scotland.

They’ll join the 15,039 families that are currently living in temporary housing. These numbers haven’t come out of nowhere. Continued and conscious inaction from the Scottish Government has led many families to fall through the cracks and thousands of children placed in unsuitable temporary housing, or worse, none at all.

This publication of updated statistics has revealed the current state of Scotland’s housing crisis and confirmed what we already knew. There’s a housing emergency and it’s getting worse. Since devolution in 1999, Scotland has had the power to solve the housing crisis for itself, and our government has continuously promised to do just that. However, it has failed to make any long lasting changes to help families facing homelessness or help families escape it.

The biggest failing from the government is the amount of affordable social houses that have been built. Or better said, the lack of. To put it into perspective, since 2004, across three different statements and by three different housing ministers, over 20,000 houses that were promised to be built have never come to fruition. The consequences for this are that thousands of children today don’t have a home.

Our government has been aware of Scotland’s crippling housing emergency for a long time. And the solution for families who become homeless is temporary housing, until a home is found for them. However, the state of temporary housing is often worse than unacceptable, as well as scarce. Many are living in unsafe and unsuitable homes, far away from their family, school and support network. Children have told us their experience living in temporary housing, in limbo between homelessness and getting a home to call their own. 

The testimonies throughout are written from the experiences of children living in homelessness today, in Scotland. Just because they have a roof over their head doesn’t mean the problem is solved. No child deserves to come into school exhausted because they don’t feel safe in their home and therefore they can’t sleep. Nor should they have to worry about where they live and how long they’ll stay there before they’re moved again. No child should have to see their studies suffer because they have nowhere to do their homework in peace. No child should carry the weight of anxiety from becoming homeless on their shoulders.

We have outlined a plan to help fix Scotland’s housing emergency. We’re demanding the Scottish Government buy and build 38,500 homes by 2026. This is to meet the needs of the thousands of families living in temporary housing and the thousands more that will become homeless. To eradicate children living in homelessness and alleviate the pressure on children so they can focus on what’s important: their education, being healthy and being happy.

We cannot ignore the thousands of families being failed by the Scottish Government. We need the Scottish Government to build more homes. And we need it now.

Home is a fundamental right for everyone in Scotland. Add your name if you agree we need action to end the housing emergency NOW.