The facts: bad housing and homelessness for children and young people in Scotland 2010
By: Published: March 2010
A report produced by Shelter Scotland’s Children’s Service to provide a real picture of how many children are affected by poor housing conditions in Scotland.
A warm, safe home is crucial to all aspects of children’s well-being, yet tens of thousands of Scotland’s children have to cope with waking up every day in cold, damp, overcrowded homes, or in a state of uncertainty due to homelessness or the risk of homelessness.
- More than one in ten (128,000) children is living in fuel poverty in Scotland. That is enough children to fill the stadiums of both Celtic and Rangers. The number of fuel poor households with children rose by 23 per cent in the last year because fuel costs rose faster than incomes.
- Although the number of homes which fail the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) is falling, it still remains that 60 per cent of children in Scotland are growing up in places that fall below the SHQS.
- 155,000 children live in homes which have condensation or damp, or both, putting these children at a higher risk of asthma and other respiratory problems. This is the same as if everyone in Dundee were living in places with damp or condensation problems.
- 60 children a day become homeless somewhere in Scotland. That is enough to fill three primary one classes every day and is a total of 22,000 children a year.
- Nearly half of all homeless children (44 per cent) are under five years old.
- Despite overall levels of homelessness falling by six per cent in the last five years there has been a seven per cent rise in the number of families with children who are homeless over the same period. This highlights a need for a greater focus on preventing homelessness for families with children.
- Lone parent families are over represented within the homeless population. They are the second largest group of homeless households, accounting for 24 per cent of all homeless households despite only representing five per cent of all households in Scotland.
- Children live in nearly half (47 per cent) of all households made homeless due to domestic abuse or harassment outside the home.
- The number of families with children staying in temporary accommodation is rising at a higher rate than other groups in temporary accommodation. Over the last three years there has been a 37 per cent rise in the number of households with children staying in temporary accommodation, compared to a general rise of 19 per cent for other groups. This suggests increasing pressure on housing supply for suitable housing for families with children.
- An estimated 1,700 children in Scotland were in families evicted from social housing in 2008/09, usually for rent arrears. This means that approximately five children a day lose their home due to eviction.
- Approximately 20 in every 1,000 young people in Scotland become homeless.
- Young homeless people are vastly over represented in the homeless population. Single people represent 24 per cent of all homeless households despite only three per cent of all households in Scotland being headed up by someone under 25.