Record numbers of children are living in temporary accommodation for the homeless in Scotland’s biggest city despite initiatives to provide settled housing.

Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership data 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.

It comes as uncertainty surrounds the future of a ground-breaking initiative to end homelessness and rough sleeping through the Rapid Rehousing Transition (RRTP) programme which is due to end in 2023/24.

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

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 - an increase of 188 since December.

Records indicate that 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.

Shelter Scotland said the fact that "so many children in our largest city have nowhere to call home should be a source of great national shame".

And the Scottish Tenants Organisation, which has been tracking the extent of the Scotland's homelessness crisis said: "It is unacceptable that in the 21st century that nearly 3,000 children in Glasgow are currently living in often squalid temporary accommodation to the great detriment of their physical and mental health."

The Herald:

It has emerged that as many as 160 homeless people have died while registered as living in almost 70 different temporary premises, including hostels, hotels, bedsits and private flats across Glasgow since 2017.

The worst year for deaths in interim accommodation came in 2021, with 38 dying in a year.

In February it emerged that as many as 36 homeless people died at six hotels in Glasgow which have been used to protect their wellbeing as the numbers in temporary accommodation across the nation have soared.

The death toll confirmed by Police Scotland shows that eight people died at St Enoch Hotel, with four at the Chez Nous Guest House and one at Hillhead Hotel.

Nine have died at the Alexander Thomson Hotel, with seven passing away at the city’s Queens Park Hotel while there another seven at the Rennie Mackintosh Station Hotel.

Those deaths have happened after March 2020, with most believed to be during the pandemic and related to drug overdoses.

Aditi Jehangir, general secretary for housing campaigners Living Rent, said: "It is appalling that we are having to talk about this. Scotland’s record number of homeless children is a shocking indictment of this government’s housing failures.

"For the number of homeless children to have doubled to now be the equivalent of three schools of children needs to shame our politicians into action.

"This government needs to make the funds available so that the rapid rehousing transition programme can be extended and more people can be immediately given access to a home. But in order to target the core of the problem of homelessness, this government needs to commit to building more social housing and ensure that everyone has access to an affordable home."

RRTP, or Housing First, aims to give a settled mainstream home as quickly as possible when homelessness cannot be prevented with time spent in any form of temporary accommodation reduced to a minimum.

It also provides support services to deal with problems like addiction that have prevented them getting a tenancy in the past.

It was launched in 2017 as part of a Scottish Government strategy to end homelessness in five years. As part of this each local authority was required to develop a RRTP plan.

More than £50m has been allocated by the Scottish Government for a five-year programme that is due to end next year. In Glasgow it is estimated that £9.4m will have been spent over the five years up to 2023/24.

The Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership has said there has been no formal commitment to funding available and is preparing an "exit strategy" if funding is not available.

It says it needs to extend the RRTP for at least another two years until 2026.

The Herald: A charity is calling for awareness of the dangers of heat for rough sleepers

It stated: “If funding beyond 2024/25 is not confirmed in the Scottish Government Budget announced in December 2023, an exit strategy will be implemented to reduce annual investment plans by £1.237m to stay within the financial envelope available from 2024/25.”

Sean Clerkin, campaign co-ordinator of the STO, added: "We need to be radical if we are to properly tackle the social evil of homelessness in Scotland today.

"We need hundreds of millions of pounds invested in social housing in Scotland including building 40,000 new social rented homes by 2026, retrofitting thousands of empty homes in Scotland and providing high quality wrap around services for homeless people when they get into settled accommodation."

It comes as housing charity Shelter Scotland last week presented First Minister Humza Yousaf with a Happy New Home card signed by more than 2,000 supporters from across Scotland while demanding action on a chronic reliance on temporary accommodation.

Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson, said: “The impact on children of being stuck in temporary accommodation should not be underestimated; it can be an absolutely devastating experience.

“Learning is disrupted, family life is strained and in many cases both mental and physical health will suffer.

“What’s so frustrating is that we know how to fix this problem; we need more social homes.

“While the Scottish Government talks a good game on tackling poverty, the funding for delivering social homes was slashed in the last budget and the number of approvals for new social housing has slowed to a crawl.

“Unless ministers take action to reverse that trend, more and more children will be stuck in temporary accommodation, living a life in limbo.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We remain concerned at the numbers of people including children in temporary accommodation and are firmly committed to reducing the use of temporary accommodation. In the longer term, preventing homelessness before it happens and taking a rapid rehousing approach when homelessness does occur, is the best way to limit the number of people in temporary accommodation. 

“That is why we established an expert group that was tasked with finding ways to reduce the numbers in temporary accommodation and we are now carefully considering their recommendations.

“We are providing local authorities with £52.5 million between 2018-24 for their Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans to support people into settled accommodation first before helping them with their longer-term needs. We are also providing them with £30.5 million in 2023-24 for their work to prevent homelessness.”

The spokesman said Scotland has "led the UK in providing affordable housing, with over 118,000 homes delivered since 2007".

And he added that the Scottish Government "remains committed to our ambitious target of delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, of which at least 70% will be available for social rent and 10% in remote, rural and island communities".