Aberdeen City Council is paying out more than £23,000 per day to put up residents in temporary accommodation – prompting calls for more affordable housing to be built.
New figures have revealed that over the last three years, the local authority has spent almost £26 million placing homeless people – or those at risk of homelessness – in accommodation including hostels, B&Bs and hotels.
In 2017-18 1,541 people required its services, including 38 who were evacuated from a block of flats following a boiler fire.
This total marked an increase of 20% on the 1,266 relocated by the council in 2015-16.
But the overall cost of the process has fallen slightly, standing at £8.3 million for 2017-18 down from £8.5 million the year before and £9.0 million two years prior.
In addition, the average length of each placement dropped from 115 days to 106.
The city council is currently building affordable housing in the Smithfield, Manor Walk and Maidencraig areas.
However the director of homelessness charity Shelter Scotland, Graeme Brown, has called for even more work to further ease the problem.
He said: “Homelessness is still far from fixed in Aberdeen and across Scotland.
“At any one point, around 450 individuals and families in the Granite City are relying on temporary accommodation to put a roof over their heads. It is the bedrock of our housing safety net.
“Unfortunately, a lack of affordable housing means many people are forced to live in limbo in temporary accommodation for far too long.
“Building more social housing will not only allow them to move into a permanent home sooner but also provide better value for money.”
City council administration housing spokeswoman Sandra Macdonald said: “I would expect that everyone is due a warm and affordable place to live and there are circumstances where people need to move into temporary accommodation.
“The aspiration of the council is to drive down these costs, including by building more council houses and working with the private sector.
“We also have an empty homes officer and buy back houses sold under the right to buy.
“We have hostels in place for temporary acommodation and can move people into more permanent places if they need.”
Aberdeen Greens co-convener Guy Ingerson said the council should be finding ways to free up cash to invest in housing.
He said: “We know budgets are tight but the current administration keeps making the wrong choices with the money we have. Three things could be done to tackle the housing crisis.
“Cancelling the £150 million incinerator in Torry to free up money for council housing, enforce developers contribution to building affordable housing & working harder to bring empty buildings into use. So far councillors have failed to progress on any of these fronts.”