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Homelessness concerns double

2 Feb 2009

The number of concerns about homelessness brought to Scottish Citizens Advice Bureaux has doubled since the year 2000.

Embargo: 00.01 on Monday 2 February 2009

Contact: Tony Hutson 0131 550 1010 - 07774 751 655 - tony.hutson@cas.org.uk

Homelessness Concerns Double Since the Year 2000

In the last financial year, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) say that CAB advisers across Scotland dealt with 8,000 approaches concerned with ‘actual or threatened homelessness.’ That’s 22 cases per day.

Now, CAS say that the Scottish Government and Local Authorities must act together to make sure that no Scots have to face life without a decent place to live.

Launching the findings in a briefing paper today (attached), CAS Chief Executive Kaliani Lyle said,

“Our advisers across Scotland are reporting a number of different types of people facing actual or imminent homelessness.

“And of course many of those affected are amongst the most vulnerable in our society – e.g. families with children, young Scots, migrant workers and people with mental health problems.

“It’s time for the Government and Local Authorities to show that they intend to keep their promise to end homelessness by 2012. They must act now to make sure that no–one in Scotland has to face life without a decent place to live.”

Issues revealed by CAS in today’s briefing include:

  • There are around 30,000 children in families who have applied to be considered homeless – three quarters of them are under the age of 12.
  • Many families with three or more children are living in cramped temporary accommodation (e.g. Bed and Breakfasts) for months – despite the fact that the maximum time is supposedly two weeks.
  • 20,000 people between the ages of 16-24 are currently identified as homeless – that’s 1 out of every 30 young Scots. Unknown numbers of others are sleeping on friends’ sofas, which hides them from the statistics.
  • Migrant workers who live in accommodation tied to their employment can lose their home if they lose their job. They will have no housing rights at all if they have not worked here for 12 months.
  • People with mental health problems who are hospitalised for a period of treatment can lose their tenancy – some have reported returning home to find the locks have been changed.
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