A shortage of larger homes is leaving families stuck in temporary accommodation for years.

Some parents, with three or more children, are left in temporary homes for as long as three years because there is not enough suitable homes with enough bedrooms to house them in.

There are thousands of people, registered as homeless, living in temporary accommodation in Glasgow.

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The time spent in temporary homes has been reduced for many, with more properties sourced from housing associations but larger families are still struggling to find somewhere.

Mhairi Hunter, Glasgow City Council’s health and social care convenor, said finding enough permanent tenancies is the biggest challenge facing homelessness services in the city.

In an exclusive interview with the Glasgow Times she said while progress is being made on homelessness, too many people are still waiting too long.

She said: “We are doing pretty well around rough sleepers, ensuring everyone who needs accommodation is provided with it.

Glasgow Times:

“The biggest challenge is trying to get people out of temporary accommodation.”

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Ms Hunter said there are more than 2000 in temporary accommodation. Of that 11 percent are in B&B.

She said: “A lot of this was influenced by the pandemic.

“In March this year we had a peak. People are in temporary accommodation for too long.

“The average time peaked at 330 days. That is now down to 200 days."

She added that 89 percent are in temporary furnished accommodation. The majority of whom have no children.

Ms Hunter said: “Getting permanent accommodation for larger families is difficult. Around 70 percent of those waiting more than three years have more than three children.

“We need housing for larger families.

“There is not enough social housing for larger families. We are building a lot more social housing so we are expanding the supply. It’s often the issue we are trying to source housing for large families.”

On rough sleepers, the most acute form of homelessness she said there has been a big difference and that numbers of rough sleepers on the streets is now very low.

She said: “There are a variety of reasons. There was an upside of accommodating people in hotels. It made it easier to engage them. That, plus Housing First is doing well in Glasgow.

“The Glasgow (Homelessness) Alliance and partnerships with the Simon Community, all working together to get people into settled accommodation is working well.

“It’s been a challenge.”

The convenor’s remit also includes drug services in the city, which she said is changing to try to reach more people and reduce the shocking number of drug related deaths from overdose but actively going to find people who need help.

She said: “There is a new service, a change to the way the city centre crisis centre operates to an outreach service.

“A team of nursing staff working with people who had near fatal overdoses. These are the folk at greatest risk of a drug related death.

“Referrals come for the Scottish Ambulance Service. The team is going out to see where they are. They work with people for an average of four weeks to get them to engage or re-engage with community treatment services.

“The biggest challenge is getting people into treatment in the first place. They are not waiting for people to come to them but they are going out to find them.”

Ms Hunter said a range of services is needed to offer more people the right help they need.

She added: “The more we engage with people the more we need to expand the services. Options need to be there.

“We need to make sure the services are there. It needs to be what’s right for the individual.”