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Homelessness: Children and young adults are the worst affected

Citizens Advice Scotland have said today’s homelessness figures show that young adults and children are the worst affected, with 57% of those applying as homeless now shown to be under the age of 25.

CAS Head of Policy Susan McPhee said,

“These are very worrying figures, but sadly they confirm the evidence we have. Scottish CAB advisers helped with 7,425 threatened or actual homeless cases last year.

“It is vital that those affected get all the support they need. Being homeless affects your health, your job prospects and your ability to contribute to society. It is something no-one in Scotland should have to experience, and yet the numbers keep rising.

“Homelessness can affect people of all age groups, and they all need support. But we have particular concerns about the huge numbers of young people who are affected. 38% of all homeless applications are made by a single person under 25. And, if you include families with children, you find that over half (57%) of those affected by homelessness are under the age of 25 (see table below).

“These are astonishing figures, and they echo the findings of a report we published last month (‘Being Young Being Heard’). All the evidence clearly shows that young people in Scotland are suffering huge problems as a result of the continuing impact of the recession.

“Anyone who is homeless or at risk of losing their home can get free, confidential and impartial advice from their local CAB. And we would urge governments, and local Councils, to make sure that advice services continue to have the resources they ned to help those people who are affected by these problems.”

For more information, interviews etc., please contact Tony Hutson on 07774 751655.

CAS published a report last month showing the extent of the problems faced by young Scots as a result of the recession, with homelessness identified as one of the biggest issues (the others being debt and unemployment). The report, ‘Being Young Being Heard’, is available here (link no longer available).

Notes on methodology:

Evidence from Supplementary Table A of today’s report shows that, over the period of the report:

  • There were 12,612 16-24 year olds in a household applying as homeless – that’s 70 each day;
  • 38% of adults applying as homeless were under the age of 25;
  • An additional 14,550 children were in households applying as homeless;
  • That means that 27,162 out of 48,047 people in a household applying as homeless were under the age of 25 (that’s 57%).