South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has demanded action from the Scottish Government as new figures show homelessness in south Scotland is rising.

Statistics show that in all local authority areas there was a rise in the number of households assessed as homeless compared to the previous year (six month summary, comparing April to Sept 2021 with April to Sept 2022).

The report also stated that after Edinburgh, “the next largest numerical increase for homelessness applications was in Dumfries & Galloway, with this figure now higher than pre-pandemic (660 in 2022 compared to 426 in 2019).”

Colin Smyth said: “These stark figures must be a wake-up call for the Scottish Government who have buried their heads in the sand for too long.

“Too many people in our area are in crisis and local services are struggling to support them. Even one household without somewhere to live is one too many. The second largest rise in homelessness applications in Scotland was seen in Dumfries and Galloway, which is also a concern. The report noted the reason was a rise in evictions due to private landlords in the region selling their properties.

“More and more Scots are facing homelessness – this is a national emergency.

“The SNP-Green government have ignored one warning after another about this looming disaster, and now we are seeing the consequences.

“Next year’s budget risks making this grim picture worse, as funding for affordable housing and local government get slashed.

“We need a real plan to make sure every person in Scotland has the safe, secure home they deserve.”

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