Midlothian families fleeing domestic violence to be housed in new emergency accommodation
Families fleeing domestic violence will be housed in new emergency accommodation which has been given the go ahead by Midlothian councillors.
The Midlothian Families Project will take six empty council homes, which have been identified as difficult to re-let, and use them for short term accommodation for people with children or a pregnant member of their household.
A report to the council’s administration cabinet said that although two similar projects were already in place in the county it was felt a third location would benefit homeless tenants, who may need to escape their current location.
It says: “Due to the tenant’s support needs and sensitivity requirements in cases such as domestic violence (i.e. proximity to alleged perpetrator), it would be beneficial for the homeless service to have additionalemergency family accommodation across Midlothian.”
At a meeting of the cabinet earlier today the plans for the third location were approved.
Council leader Kelly Parry (SNP) said: “Anything we can do to help housing in general is very welcome, but in particular in reference to people who might be fleeing domestic abuse for example, I think as much work as we can possibly do on that is really welcomed.”
The council’s chief officers place Derek Oliver had told the meeting that the location of the houses which will be used for the new accommodation could not be disclosed “owing to sensitivities of potential tenants”.
Councillors agreed to allow the properties, described as two three-bedroom and four two-bedroom homes, to be used for emergency accommodation.
The report to members said: “Officers from housing services have identified a site which would be suitable. The properties are in the process of being brought up to a lettable standard. All tenants who were previously resident in this property were awarded a management transfer and are suitably accommodated.
“The property is one which has been difficult to re-let through the usual route of allocation, resulting in extended void times and associated loss of rental income.”
The new location will have a concierge based on-site which is similar to the service provided at the other two projects.
Initial set-up costs are being met through funding received from the Scottish Government to find Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan projects.