Martin Whitfield MSP has warned that a growing number of children in South Scotland face having to spend the Christmas period in temporary accommodation.

Across Scotland, the number of children staying in temporary accommodation has soared to a shameful record high of 8,635.

This includes 180 children in East Lothian – an increase of six per cent on the previous year and an appalling increase of 157 per cent since 2002. In the Scottish Borders there has been an increase of 25 per cent in the number of children in temporary accommodation over the last year, while the figure for South Lanarkshire is 149 per cent.

Dumfries & Galloway is the only local authority in the South Scotland region that has managed to reduce the number of children in temporary accommodation compared with last  year.

Overall the length of time people have to spend in temporary accommodation has also been climbing year-on-year across Scotland, with families being hit hardest by long waits.

Across Scotland couples with children are now typically stuck in temporary accommodation for an average of 343 days.

Commenting, Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“It is nothing short of a national scandal that so many children across Scotland face spending Christmas in temporary accommodation.

“Things are at crisis point across Scotland, after years of neglect and cuts to council funding under the SNP.

“Leaving children stranded in limbo for so long will have a devastating effect on their wellbeing, attainment and life chances.

“The SNP-Green government need to act urgently to fix this shameful dereliction of duty and make sure families in South Scotland have the safe, secure housing they need.”