Thousands of campaigners across Scotland sent a #HousingSOS – telling the government we’re in a housing emergency and they need to declare it. So, housing should be top of their agenda.

Despite this, the Scottish Government refused to declare a housing emergency. At a housing debate at the Scottish Parliament, MSPs failed to act. Ministers instead told the people of Scotland that the housing emergency doesn’t exist, while communities across the country have to deal with its consequences every day. In the face of more children than ever before without a home, MSPs voted against doing something about it.

Here’s the reality of the housing emergency in Scotland:

  • Almost 10,000 children don’t have permanent place to call home – a record high
  • 45 children become homeless every day
  • A 10% increase in households becoming homeless compared to last year
  • A household becoming homeless every 16 minutes
  • A failure to deliver the social homes we urgently need and a significant slowdown in new social housing developments in the last year.
  • Private rents continuing to rise despite emergency legislation

Scotland needed a housing emergency declaration – it was an opportunity for MSPs and the government to recognise that the housing system is broken and show the leadership needed for the emergency to be tackled.

Our research shows that sorting housing and homelessness is a top priority for people in Scotland. So, it should be a government priority too. By declaring a housing emergency, the government could have:

  • Signalled that they understand the scale of the problem in Scotland
  • Shown they’re serious about fixing this chaos and committed to taking real emergency action

Instead, the government doubled down on existing plans that aren’t working.

This is a national scandal. One that is damaging lives and limiting opportunities all over the country. It’s impacting mental and physical health of families stuck in ‘crappy’ temporary homeless accommodation. It’s forcing people out of their homes when they can’t afford to pay their sky-high rents.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. After almost a decade of failure by previous governments to solve the housing emergency, First Minister Humza Yousaf still has a choice: to look away or do the right thing.

The Scottish Government has the power to turn the tide on the worsening housing emergency.

Politicians think they can avoid scrutiny. No chance. There’s power in our collective campaign, and we can still do something about this mess. If nothing is done now, the housing emergency will destroy more lives. We can’t stand by and let this happen.

Sign our open letter to the First Minister, demand he takes immediate action and remind him what’s at stake if he ignores this housing emergency any longer.

Read our briefing to MSPs on why a housing emergency MUST be declared in Scotland here.