A COUNCIL has warned that demand for affordable homes for the homeless is outstripping supply as it emerged that delays in finding the most vulnerable permanent accommodation has reached nearly a year.

It can be revealed that the latest Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) overview shows that in 2022/23 it took an average of 48 weeks to get people out of temporary homes and into settled accommodation. That is eight weeks more than the previous year.

It marks a significant failure to reach a target set by the council to get the most vulnerable into settled accommodation within a maximum of 26 weeks.

The council has no houses of its own and has to work with registered social landlords to discharge its legal duty to secure homes for people who are homeless.

The failure comes despite the formation in 2015 of the Housing Access Board by the council and its partners 2015 to secure more permanent accommodation and thereby reducing the use of temporary accommodation, in particular bed and breakfast accommodation.

READ MORE: Anger as cuts to Scots affordable homes revealed

It comes as the HSCP confirmed that in a June analysis that it was 1600 lets short of the 4500 it needs annually.

It has admitted there is a risk of judicial sanctions over the handling of the city's homeless.

The Herald: The lack of affordable housing can be traced back to the Thatcher era

The HSCP - the amalgamation of Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde which delivers community health and social care services - has been seeking to cut back on its use of high cost hotel and bed and breakfast accommodation as it faces overspending its budget by £16.646m.

Record numbers of children are living in temporary accommodation for the homeless in Glasgow despite initiatives to provide settled housing.

Glasgow City Council said the reason for the delays is a "lack of settled accommodation".

A spokesman told the Herald: "We rely on Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) who have high demands in terms of housing need to meet as well as need in relation to homelessness.

"We work well with these RSLs, and they are committed to providing us with settled accommodation, but currently demand outstrips availability which means people are spending longer in emergency and temporary accommodation than any of us would want. This is a national issue."

HSCP figures reveals 2849 children were living in temporary accommodation for the homeless on May 1 - 141 more than in December and almost double the 1,365 of ten years ago.

The total number of homeless people living in temporary homeless accommodation has increased to 6832 - a rise of 367 over five months.

The Herald:

In 2020 the number was 5735 - an increase of 10% in under two years.

And of those some 806 were living in hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation - compared to the pre-Covid figures of around 240.

Records indicated 42 people had been living in hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation for longer than a year between January 2020 and May, 2023. As of May, that number was six.

Housing campaigners said that the Scottish Government had to do more to ensure that adequate social homes are built.

The Herald revealed that ministers have been warned that a homelessness crisis will become deeper after it emerged social landlords in Scotland are expected to build 4,500 fewer affordable homes for some of the nation's most vulnerable than planned over the next five years.

Concerns have been raised about how the nation will deal with the housing emergency as the housing regulator has warned registered social landlords are projecting a 15% reduction in their plans to build new homes over the next five years as they seek to make spending cuts.

The Scottish Tenant's Organisation (STO) said that the issues show a a "total disregard by the authorities for those stuck in temporary accommodation".

It said: "The inability to meet the target of housing homeless families in settled accommodation is disgraceful. And it shows that there is a serious shortage in social housing in the Greater Glasgow area.

"It is imperative that the Scottish Government gives local authorities and housing associations the required funding to build the thousands of social homes needed for our most vulnerable citizens."

Official data shows that the number of new social sector housing building starts in Scotland has slumped to a seven-year low, with 3665 due to begin in 2023.

The Scottish Government's Programme for Government made a commitment to delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 of which at least 70% was to be available for social rent. The commitment to build 110,000 affordable homes was made in the 2021 Programme for Government after the SNP and Greens signed a powersharing deal.

Aditi Jehangir, secretary of Living Rent said: "The consistent failure to house our most vulnerable in settled accommodation should embarrass our politicians into action. Scotland has the resources to stop this: no one should be forced to live on the streets.

"The inability to house people in settled accommodation reveals the failure of our housing to meet our needs, leading to a crisis of homelessness.

"Our social housing stock is not enough to provide for the demand and rents in the private sector are just unaffordable for too many. And the problem is only getting worse. The failure to build social homes means that the thousands in temporary accommodation are joining the many already on social housing waiting lists. "The government needs to fund social housing associations to build more social homes.

"Housing should be a right not a luxury and the Scottish government has it within its powers to build more social homes and help end homelessness. But with cuts to social housing funding the government is turning the crisis into a disaster."

The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), in a July analysis, has said that the supply of affordable homes has fallen 20% in three years and "shows no sign of recovering".

They say at least 125,000 homes for social rent were needed simply to satisfy existing demand.

Sean Clerkin, campaign co-ordinator of the STO said: "More has to be done by the authorities to get people out of temporary accommodation and into settled accommodation.

"Here we have further evidence that just not enough is being done to build social homes and the council should be fighting for more money."

Councils have a statutory obligation to offer temporary accommodation when they assess a person or household as unintentionally homeless.

SOLACE said that 243,603 people are currently on the waiting list for social housing in Scotland, but only 26,102 allocations were made across the entire country.

Housing minister Paul McLennan said: “We are making available £3.5 billion over this parliamentary term to support delivery of 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, 70% of which will be for social rent and £537.875 million of that will be  available for Glasgow.

“We have committed to act on the recommendations of the expert Temporary Accommodation Task and Finish Group, including providing funding for councils and social landlords to acquire properties for use as social homes, asking social landlords to increase allocations to homeless households, and supporting councils to develop targeted plans.

“The number of affordable homes completed in the latest year is the highest annual figure since 2000. From April 2007 to end June 2023, we have delivered 123,985 affordable homes, over 87,000 of which were for social rent, including 22,994 council homes.

“Since 2007, Scotland has seen over 40% more affordable homes delivered per head of population than in England, and over 70% more than in Wales.

“Despite these efforts to tackle homelessness and build affordable homes, our efforts continue to be hindered by the UK Government’s decision to freeze the Local Housing Allowance.”