SCOTLAND’s homelessness shame will rise by more than 50 per cent in just 25 years, according to new research.

Analysis by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh found rough sleeping, sofa surfing and the use of hotels, squats and night shelters will increase dramatically by 2041 without radical action.

The charity Crisis, which commissioned the research, found 800 households slept rough on just one night last year.

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An estimated 5200 households are thought to have crashed on another person’s sofa or floor on any given night, with 2300 more in hostels, 2100 in other unsuitable temporary accommodation like B&Bs and 1400 squatting or using shelters, cars, tents, refuges or even public transport.

Rough sleeping in Glasgow has become so visible that earlier this month Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said the issue is damaging trade.

Work by The National earlier this year found homeless people made more than 500 overnight stays at the city’s only winter night shelter during December, with up to 40 people present at any time.

According to Crisis, as many as 11,800 have no permanent address.

However, this is expected to rise to 12,200 by 2021 before rocketing to 18,100 by 2041.

The change amounts to a 53 per cent increase on current levels, pushing 1500 onto the streets and 7600 onto other people’s couches.

The charity claims the change is inevitable “if current policies continue unchanged”.

In January it emerged that the number of youngsters living in temporary accommodation rose by 17 per cent last year in the third successive increase.

Earlier this month Shelter Scotland said many families were seeking homelessness help after UK Government figures revealed the number suffering income cuts due to the Westminster welfare cap has shot up five-fold UK-wide.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said the Scottish Government’s commitment to building 50,000 affordable homes by 2021 will help slow the rise of homelessness in the short term.

However, launching the Everybody In campaign for change, he said: “Unless we take action as a society, the problem is only going to get worse with every year that passes.

“That means more people sleeping on our streets, in doorways or bus shelters, on the sofas of friends or family, or getting by in hostels and B&Bs. In order to tackle this, it’s crucial we first understand the scale of the problem.

“Now is the time for action and we look forward to working with the Scottish Government to find solutions and bring these forecasts down. We can’t do this in isolation though, which is why we’re calling on the public to back our Everybody In campaign and help us build a movement for change.”

Responding to the research, LibDem housing spokeswoman Caron Lindsay said: “To see figures on this scale is a national disgrace.

“When the SNP Government fail to get to grips with the housing crisis they fail these people and their families.

“There would, of course, be more houses for social rent if the SNP had not downgraded the target for social house building during the last Parliament.”

Pledging to work with other agencies, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “We have some of the strongest rights for homeless people in the world, which has already led to falling homelessness in Scotland in recent years, despite challenges such as the UK Government’s welfare cuts and benefit cap.

“However we agree with Crisis that there is more to do.

“Our priorities include addressing homelessness for people with more complex needs, who may be rough sleeping and for whom simply providing accommodation is not always enough, and ensuring temporary accommodation plays a positive role in improving outcomes for homeless households.”