Local MSP Sue Webber has called on the SNP Government to urgently address the problems surrounding homelessness across the Lothian region.
The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Lothian MSP criticised the SNP’s approach to tackling homelessness across Edinburgh during the Scottish Government Business: Tackling Poverty and Building a Fairer Country. Under the SNP homelessness is at the highest it has been for six years, and last year someone was made homeless every 17 minutes in Scotland.
After being contacted by several concerned constituents Sue welcomed the chance to raise these concerns, mentioning the experience of one particular constituent. This constituent has been homeless for 15 months and has been moved around with little or no notice by the SNP/Labour led administration on Edinburgh City Council, while living in housing that is inadequate for their needs. They were unable to contact anyone in the council housing department and, as a result of the months of uncertainty, have been suffering from poor mental health and have been experiencing suicidal thoughts. They were finally told that it could take up to three years of living in emergency temporary accommodation for them to receive a council house.
The Scottish Conservatives have bold, ambitious plans to tackle these issues. We would deliver the biggest social housebuilding programme since devolution, building 60,000 new affordable homes, including 40,000 in the social rented sector over the next five years.
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Lothian MSP Sue Webber said: “I was recently contacted by a constituent who shared their experience of the treatment of homeless people in Edinburgh. I was appalled to hear how their case has been handled by Edinburgh City Council.
“My constituent said of their experience, “This is truly outrageous. We don't feel safe in temporary accommodation when situations like this loom over our heads every single day. I just don't know if I have the willpower nor the mental health capacity to wait so long for our own home, this has been a truly torturous 15 months.”
“It is heart-breaking to hear of people suffering in these circumstances, and this constituent is not the only one in this situation. People need homes, not hotels.”