Humiliation for SNP as homeless catastrophe doubles in Humza Yousafs own city

The SNP is being told to declare a homeless emergency across Scotland after the number of rough sleepers in its biggest city nearly doubled in just two months.

The number of reported sleepers in Glasgow – where SNP leader Humza Yousaf is an MSP – went up from 149 to 279 in a matter of weeks, according to data from Freedom of Information requests. It has been described as a “homeless catastrophe” which could endanger lives this winter.

Campaigners are desperately calling on the Scottish Government to put some cash into the issue as they say the lack of available accommodation means many will be left out in the streets amid freezing weather.

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The Scottish Tenants Organisation (STO), who got hold of the stats, said: “We have a homeless catastrophe in Glasgow with a massive rise in rough sleeping. More and better quality temporary accommodation has to be provided immediately to stop this carnage on our streets from happening.”

Glasgow City Mission, a Christian charitable organization who provide support to homeless people, told there was a huge issue with a lack of accommodation, adding that there are reportedly 20-30 people sleeping rough every evening in Glasgow. Market and Fundraising Manager Jack Gedden said: “We continue to place guests into temporary accommodation daily but the housing crisis in Glasgow is making it difficult to move some from hostels to homes.”

Shelter director Alison Watson said Scotland’s housing crisis is the worst it has been in 20 years.

The STO’s investigation found 279 people had reported rough sleeping in the three months prior to housing assessments with the council, between the start of June and November this year. The previous figure, between the start of June and September this year, had been 149 – meaning that in October and November, an additional 130 people reported rough sleeping.

Also revealed by the council’s statistics was that over 1,000 people were stuck in emergency ­accommodation like hotels and B&Bs at the start of last month, including 64 ­families with children. Almost 5,650 homeless people were registered as living in ­temporary accommodation – including over 2,800 children.

244 homeless people died in Scotland last year, an increase of 64 percent from 2017.

Last month, a continual rise in people in emergency and temporary accommodation led to Glasgow City Council declaring a housing emergency and calling for more resources to allow it to deal with the crisis.

On September 1, there were 798 people in hotels. By November 1, it had risen to 1001 – a jump of 25 percent.

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While the homeless support services charity Streetwork at Simon Community Scotland in Edinburgh, said it is currently responding to over 500 support requests per week at their Edinburgh and Glasgow Hubs.

Sean Clerkin, campaign co-ordinator for the STO, said: “The doubling of families with children being forced into these hotels where drug use is rife is completely unacceptable and needs to be stopped.

“It is clear that the emergency in Glasgow and throughout Scotland has become a Dickensian nightmare that needs to be addressed now, but further ahead, the Scottish Government needs to recalibrate the £3.6billion allocated to provide 110,000 affordable homes in Scotland by 2032 by bringing forward much of that money.

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“We need an emergency action plan now to stop our most vulnerable citizens suffering and dying on our streets.”

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council, said: “The city is facing unprecedented levels of demand for emergency accommodation. This is largely driven by the UK Government’s decision to accelerate the asylum decision process, with significant numbers of people travelling to Glasgow from across Scotland but also from Ireland and London.

“We have expanded our use of bed and breakfast in an attempt to meet the current levels of demand for homelessness assistance. We declared a housing emergency due to the pressures on the city in relation to the demand for housing and homelessness services. We continue to engage with the UK and Scottish Governments as we seek assistance to deal with the increased demand.” has contacted the SNP for comment.

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