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‘No room at the inn’ for 5,800 children in Scotland

Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said:

“Too many children are stuck in temporary accommodation for too long and too often in dangerous circumstances. In Scotland, 60 children are made homeless every day – 22,000 last year. 5,800 will spend this Christmas in B&Bs or temporary flats.

“It is a scandal that children are becoming ill because their family is forced to accept temporary accommodation that is damp and dangerous.

“It is a badge of shame for our nation that children who spend time in temporary accommodation fall behind at school, are more likely to contract respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and are less likely to go into further and higher education simply because they spent too long in temporary housing.”

Graeme Brown added:

“Shelter Scotland’s No Room at the Inn campaign calls on the Scottish Government to set down basic standards for families in temporary accommodation to protect the health and opportunities for people who fall on bad times.

“At a time when more people face losing their home due to increased unemployment and higher household bills we cannot stand by and watch the aspirations of another generation of Scots dashed by poor housing.”

The adverts feature a young boy living in temporary accommodation, and state that ‘5,800 children in Scotland will spend Christmas in B&Bs or temporary flats. Most will still be there at Easter.’

The national campaign, which also encompasses face-to-face campaign days in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Stirling, aims to raise awareness of the poor quality of some temporary accommodation, like bed and breakfasts, and the effects it can have on the health and wellbeing of children forced to live in poor quality housing.

The charity published voluntary guidance on standards in temporary accommodation that it wants the Scottish Government to make a statutory requirement. It is asking members of the public to sign up to an online petition at www.shelter.org.uk/noroom or to sign a giant Christmas card at one of its four campaign days in across Scotland. The card and online petition will then be presented to Ministers at Holyrood.

Temporary accommodation is currently offered by local authorities to people who have made a homelessness application and have nowhere else to stay. They are entitled to stay in the temporary accommodation provided until suitable permanent accommodation is found.

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