The Scottish Government never tires of telling us that tackling child poverty is among its top priorites. Tomorrow, when the budget is published, we can look for evidence of Ministers’ commitment to that principle.

It’s clear that any attempt by Ministers to tackle child poverty is doomed to fail unless they get serious about ending child homelessness.

That’s why Shelter Scotland is calling for a dedicated, ring fenced, Housing Emergency Acquisition Fund of £300m to procure homes for the 1,910 households with children who have been stuck in temporary accommodation for more than a year.

In addition, we’re recommending that any property purchased in this way should have five years to comply with the Scottish Housing Quality Standard as long as they are safe and secure. This would remove one of the initial barriers for social landlords looking to acquire homes for families trapped in temporary accommodation.

The last budget slashed the funding available for social housing, and it was no surprise to see in recent figures that social housing delivery is in a complete tailspin. This is in the same year that it emerged that record numbers of children are stuck in temporary accommodation – denied their right to somewhere safe and secure to call home.

Whether Ministers accept it or not, Scotland is in a housing emergency. The country’s two largest local authorities have said so, countless organisations from across the sector have said so, and all the evidence available makes that fact abundantly clear.

That means we need to see an emergency response. Being trapped in temporary accommodation for an extended period can have devastating effects on children’s lives, so it’s right that any emergency response prioritises homes for those kids who’ve been stuck there the longest.

The Scottish Government knows that social housing is the only way to meaningfully tackle that housing emergency. Indeed, our recommendations for this budget are in line with those of an expert working group set up by the Scottish Government to consider how to reduce the chronic over reliance on temporary accommodation.

If they choose not to invest in social homes for these children and their families, instead prioritising other areas of capital expenditure, then the simple fact is they are accepting more and more and more children will be denied their right to somewhere safe and secure to call home, stuck in often miserable temporary accommodation and that they’ll be trapped there for even longer.

Of course, we accept that there are budget pressures but if the Scottish Government wants to be taken seriously when it tells us that it’s still committed to tackling child poverty then it needs to prove that it’s serious about ending child homelessness.