This is another of those ‘the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence unless it concerns Scotland’s media’ reports. In the Independent today and covered by the Guardian too, based on a research by Shelter:
‘More than half of homeless families across England are in work but soaring rent and a lack of social housing is pushing more households into temporary accommodation, a charity has warned. Data obtained by Shelter shows that more than 33,000 families in temporary accommodation are holding down a job despite having nowhere stable to live – a figure that has increased by 73 per cent since 2013, when it was 19,000 families.’
Surely even Tories must be sympathetic to those ‘deserving poor’ who are homeless yet work?
The Scottish media have no such tales of crisis in Scotland and we know from previous experience that had they, or their Labour feeders, found the evidence we’d know all about it.
I searched and searched but could only find one source, Employability Scotland, indicating that only 2% of homeless people were in full-time employment in 2013.
So, given that the Shelter data suggest that the English working homeless accounted for about 30% of the total in 2013, Scotland seems to have had only 2% in these circumstances.
You’ll see that Shelter attributed much of the blame on soaring rents and lack of social or affordable housing. On this, I do have reliable statistics suggesting the far superior performance of the Scottish Government, over ten improving years, in delivering affordable housing. See this from June 2018:
‘New government statistics reveal there were 11,677 affordable homes approved in 2017/18, 14% more than the previous year and the third consecutive annual increase since 2014/15. This includes increases in affordable rent approvals (which have more than doubled, up by 1,433 homes), and affordable home ownership approvals (up by 5% or 92 homes), with a decrease in social rent approvals (down by 2% or 124 homes).’
Back in January 2018, Scottish Housing News had been able to report:
‘Scotland has delivered a third more affordable homes per capita over the last decade than England, according to figures from the Scottish Government. In answer to a parliamentary question from Edinburgh North and Leith MSP Ben Macpherson, housing minister Kevin Stewart revealed that over the 2007-08 to 2016-17 financial years, the government’s supply of affordable housing per capita has been 33% higher than the UK government’s supply in England. According to the figures, 70,861 affordable homes have been delivered in Scotland in the ten years since April 2007.’
The SHN report also presented figures showing the performance under SNP government, increasing, notably, as the legacy of Labour underperformance faded:
Number of Affordable housing units delivered in Scotland and England, financial years from 2007-08
|Scotland||England||% diff Scotland England per capita|
|Units delivered||Per capita||Units delivered||Per capita
|Total over 2007-08 to 2016-17||68,040||1,285||513,620||967||33%|
Sources: Scottish Government Affordable Housing Supply Programme management information system and Ministry for Housing & Local Government live tables.
Finally, Scotland has among the strongest rights in Europe for people facing homelessness.
Homeless applications have fallen by 36% since 2008. Statistics for 2015 and 2016 show homelessness has been falling in Scotland with applications down 4%, and assessments down 2%, compared to the previous year.
Channel 4 Dispatches tonight was on this very issue. The words in ‘Britain’ featured a lot with about one mention of ‘England’. Thus the impression that the situation affected all parts of Britain. No attempt to mention that the situation was different anywhere else in Britain.
A repeat in otherwards of the reporting last week of the crime figures for England and Wales.
Having said that the programme did put a human face, in fact faces, to the stats. Homelessness, especially in work homelessness, is a horrible situation for those experiencing it however well a government is dealing with it. Certainly the UK Government is barely dealing with it. Even the UK minister responsible for homelessness would not appear on the programme. Says it all really.
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