More than 4,000 children in Scotland will be homeless this Christmas, a charity has warned.
Housing and homelessness charity Shelter Scotland blamed a lack of affordable housing for such an “unacceptable” situation.
The charity’s director Graeme Brown said that the number of homeless children was “enough to fill the Scottish Parliament chamber 32 times over”. The number worked out at two homeless children for every primary school in the country, he declared.
The temporary accommodation that many such children find themselves in is often very poor quality, he added, and they often wait months before a suitable permanent home is found.
Shelter warned that homelessness can have a serious impact on children. Their mental and physical health, their education and their relationships can all suffer.
The Scottish government has to do more to address the housing “crisis”, Brown said, urging the country’s politicians to have 10,000 new homes a year built. Such action would help create circumstances where “no child has to wake up on Christmas morning, or any other morning, in such awful circumstances”, he added.
The charity announced the number of homeless children ahead of their Christmas campaign for more affordable housing.
Earlier this month, the UK government was criticised for the effects cuts to support for poorer parents would have on the lives of children. The Children’s Commissioner said they breached their human rights.