Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has said that the latest figures detailing West Dunbartonshire’s levels of homelessness are a cause for serious concern and requires urgent action from both the Council and the Scottish Government.
This comes as Scottish Government figures published today highlight the fact that West Dunbartonshire had the highest rate of households assessed as homeless with 11.9 households per 100,000 population. This is almost double the Scotland-wide average for households assessed as homeless in 2020-21, which stands at 6 households per 100,000.
These figures also showed that Scotland as a whole is in the midst of a housing crisis with statistics showing that in 2020/21 the number of households in temporary accommodation reached its highest point for any year since records began in 2002.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“The fact that West Dunbartonshire has the highest rate of households assessed as homeless in the whole of Scotland points to the need for urgent action at the highest level.
“We are all aware of the awful impact that COVID-19 has had on household finances and individuals’ ability to pay rent and bills. As restrictions begin to ease, so too do the measures that have been put in place to protect families from homelessness.
“The SNP’s refusal to extend the evictions ban to those experiencing all levels of restrictions has created a ticking time bomb of homelessness in our local area and across Scotland. The Scottish Government and West Dunbartonshire Council must work together urgently to tackle both the problem of homelessness in our community as well as addressing the causes of homelessness – many of which are completely outwith peoples’ control – so that we see a decrease in local figures, rather than a further increase.”