Families with children are facing increasingly long stays in temporary accommodation before moving to a permanent home, according to Scottish Labour.
A couple with children now spend almost a year on average in temporary housing, according to the party’s analysis of homelessness data.
Average stays have been increasing each year since 2017, Labour says, with single parents typically waiting an extra 53 days compared to those without children.
Coronavirus measures last year led to a fall in the number of homelessness applications but the number of people in temporary accommodation rose.
Scottish Labour MSP Mark Griffin said: “These ever-growing stays in temporary accommodation are nothing short of disgraceful.
“Any civilised society should be getting children into proper homes as a matter of urgency – but we are falling woefully short.
“It is shameful that some children will go through the best part of an entire school year stuck in limbo.
“It is particularly unthinkable for children to face months on end in temporary accommodation, but it is a scandal for people of any age to have to endure this.
“These spiralling stays represent a total dereliction of duty from the SNP.
“We need a real strategy for tackling homelessness that doesn’t rely on endless stays in temporary accommodation.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “Temporary accommodation can offer an important emergency safety net for anyone who finds themselves homeless, but we recognise that it should be a purely temporary measure, particularly for families with children.
“Local authorities share our ambition to ensure stays in temporary accommodation are short-term, and we will be working with them to achieve this.
“For some councils it can take a long time to acquire an appropriate property to match a household’s particular needs.
“We are investing £37.5 million to support councils to prioritise settled accommodation for all as part of our aim that everyone has a warm, safe and affordable home.
“We also have a target of delivering 110,000 more affordable homes by 2032, with at least 70% for social rent, building on our record of delivering over 103,000 affordable homes since 2007.”
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