Temp housing creating life in limbo for Scots


​Legislation must change to ensure no-one suffers the indignity of temporary accommodation

28th September 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Temporary accommodation should be limited to a maximum of seven days for all homeless Scots, a charity has demanded.

Crisis, the homeless charity, says Scots are being left to languish in unsuitable temporary accommodation with strict curfews and without access to basic facilities such as a washing machines, private bathrooms or cooking facilities.

Next month the Scottish Government will restrict the legal time limit on unsuitable temporary accommodation from 14 to seven days for families and pregnant women. However, Crisis is calling for a change in the law to extend this right to all homeless people.

Some, says the charity, have languished in temporary accommodation for as long as two years.

The findings, contained in a new report, mark the launch of Crisis's campaign, A Life in Limbo, which shows temporary accommodation prevents people moving on.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: "Scotland should be proud that we have some of the best homelessness legislation in the world, but we cannot become complacent. No one, no matter what their circumstance, should be forced to live without basic facilities for prolonged periods of time. 

"The recent announcement of the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group, which Crisis warmly welcomes, means the time is ripe to end the anomaly of unsuitable temporary accommodation.

“This change will make a massive difference and ensure no homeless person is left to languish in unsuitable temporary accommodation."

Jamie, 41, lived in B&B accommodation in Edinburgh for 14 months, and he said of his experience: "There were three bathrooms, one on each floor, between 14 people and I only had access to the kitchen for three hours throughout the day. Plus, there were cameras everywhere, in the stairs, the lobby, the kitchen."

"There was quite a high turnover of people with addiction or mental health issues, or that had just come out of prison and the different comings and goings of people had a real impact on how I felt in myself.

“My mental health deteriorated due to the stress. I tried to stick to as normal a routine as I could. Some people slept all day.

"Boil it all down, it's survival mode I suppose you'd say. It's not enjoying life."