Rising family tensions have been held to blame for a growing number of people in Moray becoming homeless during lockdown.
The situation with households spending longer together within confined environments sparked concerns among domestic abuse charities in the early weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Figures published by Moray Council have now revealed that the number of people reporting as homeless weekly in the region has more than doubled.
Five people reported themselves as homeless in the week ending March 13, and 12 people did so in the week ending May 8.
Across that period, a total of 59 people became homeless.
During yesterday’s meeting of the authority’s emergency cabinet, Elgin City North councillor Frank Brown asked whether the figure marked a “spike” due to domestic violence.
Depute chief executive Rhona Gunn said: “It’s not a spike, it’s a growing trend. There are increasing tensions that have arisen within households and those are continuing because of lockdown.
“Families have been living together for an extended period of time and finances have worsened over that period.
“It’s now apparent we will be living with Covid for some time to come so I think there has been a combination of all these factors.
“No, I don’t think it’s just as spike, I think it’s an ongoing trend.”
Mrs Gunn explained the rise was also causing “significant pressure” on the availability of accommodation for people reporting as homeless.
A report prepared for yesterday’s meeting detailed 45 properties across Moray that could be used temporarily.
Housing teams at the council have been tasked with moving people to permanent tenancies as quickly as possible to free up more of the temporary homes.
Moray Women’s Aid reported a decrease in the number of calls it received from victims of domestic abuse in the early days of lockdown with a drop of 59 in February to 20 in April.
However, manager Elle Johnston expects demand to surge as restrictions are eased – with five calls already received in the first three days of June.
She said: “We’re usually a bit behind what is experienced elsewhere but we are expecting a massive increase as lockdown is eased.
“Yes, tensions will be high in the home but there might be different reasons why a woman doesn’t want to leave right now – she may not have access to a phone or be concerned about what may happen to children.”