PEOPLE across Scotland are falling through the gaps due to a lack of support for homelessness services, according to a report.

A study by Shelter Scotland, indicated that 28,792 households were assessed as being homeless or were threatened with homelessness in 2017/18. They included a total of 28,999 adults and 14,075 children.

The number of homeless applications (34,972) was 1% up (402) on 2016-17. The largest increases were in North Ayrshire, Perth and Kinross and Aberdeen City.

The charity warned urgent action must be taken to stop the situation worsening, saying a lack of support and joined-up responses means some people who need help are being missed out.

The report cited some of the key challenges facing homeless people in Scotland, such as mental health provision, loss of contact with local authorities over housing support and standards in temporary accommodation.

It also raised a need to tackle the gendered nature of homelessness. Some 4616 women under 25 applied (29% of all female applications), compared with 4268 men under 25 (22% of all male applications).

Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown said: “We know that there is a lot of excellent work being carried out by people working in homelessness services across Scotland and there is a commitment at national and local government levels to do more.

“However, this new analysis matches the experience of our frontline services, that mental health issues and complex needs among people presenting as homeless are on the rise and is of increasing concern to us.

“From health to housing support and homeless prevention services, significant investment and cross-organisational working is vital to help tackle many of the issues highlighted in the report. And, of course, Scotland also needs to build enough social and affordable housing of the right sort in places where people want to live to meet growing demand.”