Scottish councils struggle to meet new rules on housing homeless children

Half of Scottish councils placed homeless families in unsuitable temporary accommodation between June and December 2005 despite new rules aimed at ending the practice.

The Unsuitable Accommodation (Scotland) Order 2004 came into effect in December 2004 to prevent the routine use of B&Bs for pregnant women or families with children.

However, statistics from the Scottish executive show that half of Scotland’s 32 councils breached the new order in the second half of 2005.

On December 31 2005, there were 33 families living in unsuitable accommodation in Scotland – a figure equivalent to 1% of households with children and pregnant women in temporary accommodation at that point. This was a fall from 59 breaches on 30 September 2005. The worst offenders were Argyll & Bute, Dundee City, and Highland Councils.

Housing charity Shelter Scotland, which led the campaign for the new regulations, acknowledged that progress had been made but said there was still much to be done.

“The experience of our staff is that there are still a number of councils who are using bed and breakfast accommodation for homeless families,” said director Archie Stoddart. “Some of this is in contradiction to the legislation and is something that everyone who wants to see action on homelessness will be concerned about.

“But the figures show that, despite early misgivings from councils, they’ve made real progress in reducing B&B use.”

Operation of the homeless persons legislation in Scotland from


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