South of Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has hit out at the failure of the Scottish Government’s £50 million action plan to end homelessness, after new figures revealed applications assessed as homeless, or threatened with homelessness, in Ayrshire rose by nine per cent in a year.

Statistics released yesterday show in Ayrshire 1,158 applications were processed in April to September 2019, 99 more than the same period the previous year.

There was a particularly stark increase of 12 per cent in South Ayrshire, from 328 to 367.

Those in temporary accommodation also rose across Ayrshire as a whole, from 538 on 30 September 2018, to 560 for the same period in 2019.

South of Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth said: “It is clear that in Ayrshire, the Scottish Government’s £50 million action plan is not working.

“The idea that in 2020, we still have homelessness in our communities is completely shocking and I would call on Housing Minister Kevin Stewart to take a long hard look at what more can be done.

“While it is easy to see numbers on a page, these figures represent real people who are suffering. Homelessness is a blight on our nation and we must do all we can to ensure it is consigned to history.

“Scotland was once touted as a world leader when it came to tackling homelessness, however, figures like this show how far we still have to go.

“Ayrshire, like every other part of Scotland, is in desperate need of more affordable, readily available homes. Without them, we will only see these figures rise more in future.”

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