Councils are failing to deliver social homes for 7,500 homeless children says Shelter Scotland

Posted 14 Mar 2022

Council leaders are failing children across the country when it comes to social housing according to Shelter Scotland. 

Ahead of the local authority elections in May, the housing charity has said council leaders need to urgently step up in order to tackle the deepening housing emergency. 

In Glasgow alone there are 2,480 children stuck in temporary accommodation, while 1,515 children in the capital face the same situation. In Aberdeen, a household with children spend
103 days in temporary accommodation on average, while in Dundee that figure rises to 285 days.

Shelter Scotland’s analysis of council’s housing plans* shows that a minimum of 7,000 social homes are needed over the next five years in Edinburgh, 3,675 in Glasgow, 853 in Aberdeen and 655 in Dundee. 

Each of the local authorities in those cities failed to deliver on their previous affordable housing targets. 

Director of Shelter Scotland, Alison Watson, said:

“Right now, thousands of households, including thousands of children, are trapped in temporary accommodation. Often, they’re living in cramped conditions which are entirely unsuitable. Many of them have been living in so-called temporary accommodation for months or, in some cases, years. 

“Living in temporary accommodation can have devastating effects. It disrupts children’s learning, it places huge strain on family life, it can ruin people’s health. In the face of a deepening cost-of-living crisis this problem is only going to get worse unless action is taken now. 

“As more people are exposed to the risk of homelessness, only social housing can stem the tide. The Scottish Government has promised the cash for new social homes, we need to keep fighting to make sure they’re actually built.”

“With the local elections just around the corner our cities’ leaders can’t shirk their responsibilities. We need them to step up and finally contribute to building a future where everyone in Scotland, without exception, has their right to housing upheld. 

“The scale of the challenge is clear, but council leaders must rise to meet it. The thousands of
children without the security and safety a permanent home provides can’t wait a second longer.”

Notes to editors:

*The full report is here.

Shelter Scotland’s services continue to operate during the pandemic with all advice now provided online or by webchat or phone. For advice on keeping your home during the outbreak visit 

We exist to defend the right to a safe home and fight the devasting impact the housing emergency has on people and society. We believe that home is everything. 

Shelter Scotland has launched a new campaign asking people to demand that council leaders pledge to build social housing.