FOR many, December is the most wonderful time of the year.

But troubling new statistics from the Scottish Government indicate that many Borderers could be facing Christmas in emergency accommodation.

The startling figures are revealed in a new 32-page report on Homelessness in Scotland

And the statistics also highlight a worrying trend in the Borders, with the number of children in temporary accommodation doubling since 2002.

This week's release isn’t the first time that the Borders has come under the microscope for homelessness problems.

Earlier this year, we reported that one family faced a 700-day wait in temporary accommodation for a new home.

We also revealed that Scottish Borders Council continues to open an average of two new cases of homelessness every day, with a third of all cases involving children.

Claudia Beamish, Labour MSP for South Scotland, met with campaigners from the Shelter Scotland homeless charity this week.

And she believes that more must be done by the government to tackle the issue.

Ms Beamish told us: “I am saddened by these statistics.

"Too many people are without a stable, secure home.

"In the Scottish Borders the number of children in temporary accommodation has doubled since 2002. This just isn’t good enough.

“Before we can really address this problem, the SNP government will have to massively increase the number of homes built in each quarter to achieve its target of 50,000 affordable homes and 35,000 homes for social rent by 2021."

Among the initiatives introduced to tackle the homelessness problem, which are highlighted in the report, are tougher new rules for private landlords.

And this has been welcomed by Ms Beamish.

She added: “I was encouraged by the success of the Private Residential Tenancy which will give more rights and protection to people renting from the private sector.”

Shelter Scotland estimates that one household in the country becomes homeless every 19 minutes.

The charity has now submitted its recommendations to the Scottish Government Action Group on homelessness and rough sleeping.