Sep 16 2009 by Wendy Scott, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
NORTH Lanarkshire Council is making steady progress towards meeting the commitment to give everyone the right to a home by 2012, according to a new report.
Meanwhile, Shelter Scotland is urging the Scottish Government to build 10,000 more affordable homes for rent each year to tackle the growing number of people in temporary accommodation across Scotland.
The charity estimates that use of temporary housing across Scotland is costing at least £70m a year, money which it says would be much better spent providing new homes by making this year’s budget a “budget for homes”.
The new figures lay bare the extent of the continued reliance on temporary accommodation in North Lanarkshire. A total of 2557 households were homeless in 2008/9, compared with 1360 in 1999.
At March 31, 2009, 462 households were living in temporary accommodation, compared with 213 on March 31, 1999.
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, said: “North Lanarkshire Council is making steady progress towards meeting the 2012 commitment to give everyone in Scotland the right to a home. Overall, the statistics show that Scotland’s internationally acclaimed homeless legislation can and will be delivered.
“However, this should not mask the fact that there are thousands across Scotland who are stuck in temporary accommodation.
The responsibility being placed on local authorities is not being matched by progress on building the 10,000 new affordable homes to rent that Scotland needs.
“With the cost of temporary accommodation to local councils across Scotland soaring to an estimated £70m a year and the number of new-build homes falling dramatically over the last year, the onus is on the Scottish Government to make this year’s budget a ‘budget for homes’ to boost housing in North Lanarkshire and across Scotland.”