The breadth and intensity of the housing and homelessness predicament in Scotland are both extensive and escalating, which is cause for legitimate concern.

An unfortunate number of individuals are getting trapped in the system, leading to the highest-ever recorded levels of Scottish citizens without homes. It’s tragic to witness over 10,000 children without stable residences trapped in temporary accommodations.

Amidst such crisis, it’s startling that at present, 93,000 homes stand vacant and decaying throughout the nation with an overall potential value estimated at ₤18 billion.

While scores of residences remain unused, the queue for temporary housing, council-owned homes, and fundamental rights to shelter continues to swell.

The existing system is falling short of providing for tens of thousands of susceptible individuals scattered across Scotland. This situation is unacceptable.

Scotland faces a glaring residential crisis, and our leaders appear to lack an iron grip on it.

From experiences in Glasgow during the Covid outbreak, they found resources to house every homeless individual. Hence, it is clear that the potential and ability to address the problem exist.

However, a widespread perception is that there hasn’t been adequate political desire to rigorously address this escalating crisis. This notion is further exacerbated by the Scottish Government forcing through near ₤200million reductions from their affordable housing budget just last month, pointing fingers towards insufficient funding from Westminster.

There is no scope for political maneuvering in these times. Unless politicians, regardless of affiliations, acknowledge the gravity of the situation, the number of individuals deprived of basic housing will unfortunately increase. An immediate action plan needs to be in place to resolve the vacant homes situation and to address this housing crisis.

We can’t fail our children

Statistics showing truancy levels in Scotland are alarmingly high, with one in three children persistently avoiding classroom learning.

This alarming statistic indicates that almost one-third of students aren’t receiving the necessary education to secure a stable future.

It’s disconcerting to witness high numbers of school absences, but the real issue lies in understanding the reasons behind such truancy.

Undeniably, for some kids, re-adapting to traditional schooling after Covid-imposed lockdowns is challenging. However, others are abstaining from schooling due to inefficacy and inadequacy of child and adolescent mental health services.

Increased demand for CAMHS is evident, hence, urgent restructuring of the service is required in order to meet the growing needs.

Increased classroom violence, leading to an escalation in exclusions, has emerged as a contributing factor, but some students abstain from classes simply because they don’t feel safe.

Our youth urgently requires additional support – Scotland’s future is inevitably tied to them.