Humza Yousaf must get house in order after stats 10,000 council homes lay unoccupied

derelict houses
Scotland is facing a housing crisis while 93,000 properties lie vacant -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

Recent figures on homelessness were shaming for the Scottish Government. The number of “open cases” jumped to more than 30,000 and applications for help rose to 20,144.

Even more damning was the impact on children, with nearly 10,000 kids languishing in temporary ­accommodation.

These shocking statistics made the decision of Humza Yousaf ’s government to slash £200million from the affordable housing budget even more senseless.

The Bute House Agreement between the SNP and Greens was supposed to be based on progressive principles but this decision was appalling.

Another factor is the impact of continued under-funding of councils on the homelessness emergency. Local authorities provide homes and when town halls are starved of resources, it is vulnerable people who suffer.

Our story today about nearly 10,000 council houses being unoccupied is linked to this under-funding. It is undoubtedly true that local authorities could do more to reduce the number of so-called “void” properties.

Sometimes councils can be too slow to house people and a more efficient service is required. But when the government cuts their funding to the bone, it is little wonder this situation arises.

Scottish ministers talk a good game about tackling poverty and helping the most vulnerable in society. But their record in some areas, ­particularly housing, does not match the rhetoric.

They should start by viewing ­councils as partners and funding them properly.

Plane ridiculous

Rishi Sunak seems determined to be remembered as the prime minister who oversaw a cost-of-living crisis and a failed plan to reduce illegal migration.

His steadfast refusal to consider a workable alternative to the bonkers Rwanda policy casts further doubt on his suitability for high office.

Hundreds of millions of pounds has been wasted on a plan that appeals to no one bar the cranks who occupy much of the Tory backbenches in ­Parliament.

Individuals or families desperate enough to consider crossing the English Channel in a rubber dinghy are unlikely to be deterred by the remote possibility of being flown to Rwanda.

The policy is a failure politically, is unworkable in reality and morally ­repugnant.

Sunak should have distanced himself from it the second he reached Downing Street. Instead, it will be another stain on his legacy.

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