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

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

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.

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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.

A rough sleeper in Edinburgh.A rough sleeper in Edinburgh.
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.

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“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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