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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Report reveals upward trend in homelessness

April 15 2011
Household disputes and relationship breakdown main causes for homelessness

The latest national statistics on homelessness published last month by the Scottish government have shown a small but worrying rise reported by homelessness charities.

The figures, recorded over a six-month period in 2010, provide information on homeless applications to local authorities, their assessments and outcomes, as well as uncovering some of the main reasons behind homelessness in Scotland.

The report revealed an increase of homeless applications with over 29,000 being made between April and September 2010 - a total increase of 212 since the same period in 2009.

Alison Watson, Head of Services for the housing charity Shelter, said: “We have been warning for some time that the number of people presenting as homeless could rise as the effects of government cuts, job losses and welfare reforms start to bite. This is only a small increase, but we are concerned it is the beginning of an upward trend.”

Of these applicants, 62 per cent were single people, 24 per cent were single parents and households with children accounted for 31 per cent. The main reasons for applying as homeless were household disputes or relationship breakdowns.

However, despite an increase in the number of homeless applications, there was at least a two per cent increase in the number of people being assessed as priority need by local authorities.

Watt added: “While any increase in homelessness is disappointing, it is encouraging that the number of people assessed as priority need by local authorities shows improvement. We congratulate those local authorities who have made progress toward meeting the 2012 commitment on homelessness and urge councils struggling to meet this commitment to redouble their efforts.”