Homeless Edinburgh: More than 4,500 have no roof to call their own in the Capital

The number of homeless people in Edinburgh has soared during the pandemic, leaving council chiefs needing a budget boost.

By Donald Turvill
Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 5:49 pm

More than £2 million of new funding is being sought to tackle the Capital’s worsening homelessness crisis.

The number of homeless households is up almost 30 per cent on pre-pandemic figures, with 4525 people across the city now living in temporary accommodation.

In March, Edinburgh City Council, which has a statutory duty to provide housing for those without a permanent residence, awarded ten accommodation providers contracts worth more than £16m in response to increased demand.

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A rough sleeper in Edinburgh.

Councillors are to request an additional £2,145,000 in order to extend the contracts until March next year.

The money will be used to continue housing people in private flats, B&Bs and hotels.

A report warned: “There continues to be a demand for additional temporary accommodation to allow the council to meet its statutory duty to accommodate people who are homeless.

“Since the beginning of lockdown restrictions, the council has been required to secure additional temporary accommodation to meet public health objectives.”

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It adds: “The increase in temporary accommodation use is mainly a result of three factors: the provision of additional accommodation for those rough sleeping, the provision of temporary accommodation for people who may have no recourse to public funds and a lack of move on or settled accommodation,” the report said.

“Ten accommodation providers require additional approvals to cover the increased costs as a result of the ongoing increase in the numbers requiring temporary accommodation.”

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