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First Minister must go much further on housing says charity

Posted 17 Oct 2023

A leading housing and homelessness charity has said the First Minister’s keynote address this afternoon failed to adequately address Scotland’s housing emergency.

Shelter Scotland said Humza Yousaf’s scant mention of housing will be a source of deep frustration for communities across the country.

The announcement of a fund to help women facing homelessness as a result of escaping domestic abuse was welcomed, however the charity said more detail was needed and warned the fund could not tackle the structural issues driving the housing emergency.

Shelter Scotland is urging its supporters to sign an open letter to the First Minister, urging him to formally declare a housing emergency in Scotland.

Shelter Scotland Director, Alison Watson, said:

“For the people across Scotland struggling to pay their sky-high rents, or for those trapped in substandard temporary accommodation, and for the 45 kids who become homeless every day in Scotland the housing emergency is top of the agenda.

“Sadly, based on today’s speech, that’s not the case for the First Minister.

“For his keynote speech to give so little detail on housing in that context is not acceptable.

“While we await the details, steps to support women facing homelessness as a result of escaping domestic abuse are very welcome – but the fund announced today can’t and won’t address the structural issues that are driving our housing emergency.

“The First Minister needs to show that he understands the depth of the problem facing communities in Scotland and the urgency of the situation by formally declaring a housing emergency.

“People have had enough, ignoring the housing emergency isn’t an option anymore - we need action now.”