A housing charity has accused Aberdeen City Council leaders of leaving hundreds of struggling children without a suitable permanent home.
A damning report by Shelter Scotland has revealed households with children spend an average of 103 days in temporary accommodation before being given a council house.
The charity’s analysis of the local housing plans also shows that a minimum of 853 new homes will need to be built in Aberdeen over the next five years to meet demand.
Criticising the discrepancy between the need and delivery of social housing, Shelter Scotland has now urged the council to “step-up” and tackle the “deepening” crisis.
‘Huge strain’ on children and family life
Researchers for the charity analysed the social housing needs in Scotland’s four largest cities for the study.
It found that in Glasgow, there are 2,480 children in temporary accommodation and 1,515 in Edinburgh. In Aberdeen, a household with children spend 103 days in temporary accommodation on average, while in Dundee that figure rises to 285 days.
Charity director Alison Watson highlighted the negative impact of forcing children to be “trapped” in temporary accommodation.
She 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.
“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.
“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.”
Council committed to housing those most vulnerable in Aberdeen
Last night Aberdeen City Council’s housing spokeswoman Sandra Macdonald insisted they are committed to securing suitable homes for those most vulnerable.
Despite the charity’s claims that they have failed to meet their previous targets, she said the authority was currently delivering “the biggest building programme in social housing for a generation”.
At a budget meeting last week, the administration confirmed more than 2,000 council homes have been built – or are currently under construction – since 2017.
Mrs Macdonald added: “Home should be a place where people feel safe, secure, productive and happy, and temporary accommodation should be kept to a minimum.
“Our Housing First programme has delivered permanent and secure housing for individuals who have experienced long term and repeated homelessness, and who have chronic health issues – part of our commitment to housing some of the most vulnerable people in society and helping them to rebuild their lives.
“In recent years we have reduced the average homeless journey time by over 60 days. We have done this while reducing the use of hostel spaces, B&Bs and hotel spaces.
“We are also on track to deliver more than 2,000 new council homes across the city – the biggest building programme in social housing for a generation, affordable to rent and affordable to heat and maintain.”