More than 6,000 households with children in Scotland have been in temporary accommodation for at least a year - with 420 families not having had a permanent home for three years or more.

Labour housing spokesperson Mark Griffin said these prolonged stays in temporary accommodation risked having a “devastating impact” on youngsters.

He demanded “urgent action” from the Scottish Government after the answer to a parliamentary question revealed a total of 6,135 households with children had been in temporary accommodation for at least a year.

Read more: Homelessness soars as 10,000 children in temporary accommodation

This includes 4,705 families which have been housed in this manner for one to two years, and 1,010 who have been in temporary accommodation for two to three years, as well as the 420 households with children who have been in temporary accommodation for three years or more.

Families housed in temporary accommodation can be placed in private rental properties or in council or housing associations homes, although bed and breakfast accommodation and hostels are also used.

In answering the question, housing minister Paul McLennan said that not all families with children would take their youngsters with them when when going into temporary accommodation, saying they “may sometimes make alternative arrangements for children”.

Read more: Edinburgh Council warns SNP over homeless funds after city cases soar

He added that it could “also be the case that children are present for only part of the stay in temporary accommodation, e.g. as part of shared custody arrangements”.

But Mr Griffin said: “Spending 1,000 days in temporary accommodation waiting for a home is no start in life.

“The devastating impact this will have on these young people will stay with them their whole lives.

“This crisis has been allowed to spiral out of control – and it is Scotland’s children who are paying the price.

“There should not be a single child in Scotland facing such long waits to find a stable home. The SNP must take urgent action now or else this crisis will only continue to worsen.”

Scottish Government data last month revealed a total of 15,039 households, including 9,595 children, were placed in temporary accommodation in 2022-23 – a rise of 6% on the previous year and the highest number ever recorded.

Read more: SNP's 'transformative' homeless prevention plan needs funding

This year's statistics, released last month, showed the average wait time in temporary accommodation has also increased year-on-year, and now sits at 502 days for households with children.

Mr McLennan said: “Scotland has the strongest rights across the UK nations for people experiencing homelessness and, whilst it shows our legislation is working to make sure people are not roofless, temporary accommodation should be just that – temporary.

“We are doing all we can to prevent people becoming homeless and to reduce the use of temporary accommodation by making £3.5 billion available in this Parliamentary term, towards the delivery of more affordable and social homes.

“We have committed to act on the recommendations of the expert Temporary Accommodation Task and Finish Group, including investing at least £60 million 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.”