Shelter Scotland ask people of Edinburgh to back campaign to enshrine the right to a home in law

Over 3000 households assessed as homeless last year

Monday, 11th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th November 2019, 7:47 am

CAMPAIGNERS from housing charity Shelter Scotland are on the streets of the Capital today seeking signatures on a petition calling for the right to a home to be enshrined in law.

They want the Scottish Government to pass a new law saying everyone is entitled to adequate housing as a right not a privilege.

Best-selling crime writer Val McDermid gave her support to the campaign.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The right to a decent home should be enshrined in law, says Shelter

She said: “Home is a place where you’re safe to be yourself, where you can relax, where you can express yourself and where you don’t feel under threat. Too many people don’t have that. That’s why I’m backing Shelter Scotland’s campaign.”

Statistics show over 3000 households were assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness in Edinburgh last year.

And 1515 households - including 1260 children - were living in temporary homeless accommodation on March 31.

Shelter said research by YouGov found 88 per cent of people surveyed agreed that everyone in Scotland should have a legal right to a safe, secure and affordable home and 76 per cent supported a new law.

Today’s visit to the Newkirkgate shopping centre in Leith is the latest in a series of campaign days which will see the charity hitting towns and cities across Scotland in the coming weeks and months to drive home the message and ask people to sign the petition.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “We bring our campaign to Edinburgh to get as many people as possible to join us by signing our petition. Too many people in Edinburgh and Scotland don’t have access to the basic right of a decent and affordable home – which is simply wrong in the 21st century in one of the world’s wealthiest countries.

“Our research shows that the people of Scotland support changes to give everyone the right to a decent home.

“Through this campaign we want the people of Edinburgh and Scotland to know that a good home is their right – not a privilege - and it should be law. We also want them to feel a sense of injustice that so many people don’t have access to this basic need.

“By encouraging people to join our campaign we want them to feel hopeful that they can make a difference if we all work together. We want them to feel like they’re joining an important and powerful movement for building a better Scotland for everyone.

“We want the right to a home and enshrining it in law to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Meanwhile, Holyrood’s local government and communities committee has called for compulsory sales orders (CSOs) to be introduced to help tackle the blight of empty homes.

Recent figures have shown that over 3 per cent of Scotland’s 2.62 million dwellings are empty.

In a report the committee pointed out the SNP had promised CSOs at the 2016 election and the idea had widespread backing.

And it continued: “Given the strength of support for the development of CSO powers, the low uptake of CPO powers and a manifesto commitment to bring CSO powers forward in the current parliamentary session, it is disappointing that draft proposals or legislation pertaining to CSO powers have not emerged.”