What is the housing emergency in Scotland?

The housing emergency is the impact of our broken housing system.

What is the housing emergency in Scotland?

The housing emergency is the impact of our broken housing system.

The housing emergency is a system that fuels homelessness, turns a blind eye to unsafe housing and leaves people experiencing poverty, illness, even death. The housing emergency isn’t just hurting individual people, it’s affecting the whole of society.   

We’re here to fight the devastating impact of the housing emergency. With campaigns, advice and support, together we will fight for home.

The housing emergency in Scotland is: 

14,151 households in temporary accommodation

at the end of September 2020 

7,900 children in temporary accommodation

which is a record high

60,000 children

on social housing waiting lists

1.5 million people in Scotland

living in overcrowded, dangerous, unstable or unaffordable housing

It’s more than rough sleeping.  

Too many people are forced to sleep on the streets and some tragically die there. Scotland has the highest homelessness death rate in the UK, almost three times higher than England. But you don’t need to be on the streets to be homeless. Too many people have no permanent place to live. People are living, and sometimes dying, in limbo. Sleeping on a friend’s sofa isn’t a home. A room in a hostel or dingy B&B isn’t a home. And families crammed into temporary housing, sharing bathrooms and kitchens with strangers, and sleeping and eating in one room, isn’t a home.  

It’s the chronic lack of good quality social housing. 

Private renters navigate a minefield of increasingly unaffordable rents and poor conditions. Families are cramped into overcrowded homes and people are forced to pay over the odds for damp, mouldy or dangerous homes that are making us sick. The bottom line is the absence of good quality, affordable social housing is denying people across Scotland the chance of a decent home.   

It’s unjust. Injustice is embedded in our housing system. 

If you have a disability, receive benefits, are a refugee or a person of colour you are more likely to face discrimination or struggle find a decent home.  The pressures of our housing system push people to the brink, and life is made even more difficult by a welfare system that simply doesn’t provide enough support to people when they’re struggling. Too many people are going without meals to pay rent or remain trapped in an abusive relationship to avoid homelessness.   

We’re here for everyone, but only with your support