Homeless Edinburgh families 'moved from hotels' due to Taylor Swift tourism


A number of homeless people have been moved out of Edinburgh to make way for tourists ahead of Taylor Swift concerts.

Hundreds of music fans are expected to flock to the capital to attend the singer's Murrayfield stadium shows from June 7 to 9. An estimated 215,000 tickets have been sold and accommodation is scarce.

Shelter Scotland said several homeless people it supports had been sent via taxi to Aberdeen and Glasgow amid a shortage in accommodation, and one person was offered temporary accommodation as far away as Newcastle.

The housing charity said it was “a blatant injustice” for homeless people to be “in direct competition” with tourists.

Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson said: "In Edinburgh that emergency now places people experiencing homelessness in direct competition with tourists; a blatant injustice.

“Our frontline services are already seeing people in need of a bed tonight being told their only option is to leave of the city.

“A family going through the trauma of homelessness in Edinburgh should not have to move miles from their job, school, and community to find emergency accommodation."

Edinburgh City Council said they are working to find "alternative accommodation" for those affected as many of the hotels and BnBs the council uses for temporary accommodation are currently unavailable.

The local authority said it was a “symptom of the city’s housing emergency”.

Housing, homelessness and fair work convener, councillor Jane Meagher, said: “It is a symptom of the housing emergency we face in Edinburgh that at times we must use tourist accommodation to house homeless households.

"We know it won't be available year-round, particularly over the busy summer months, so we use it reluctantly as a last resort.

"We're aware of the situation and are working with the affected households to find appropriate, alternative accommodation."

There is no evidence of homeless people being removed from accommodation where they are already staying.

There is a legal obligation for people declared homeless in Scotland to be offered emergency temporary accommodation, and this can come in the form of hotels.

The council declared a housing emergency last November.

Earlier this month, the Scottish Government also declared a national housing emergency after sustained pressure from campaigners and opposition parties.

On Tuesday, Edinburgh Live reported that one American family, who are travelling thousands of miles for the gig, are being forced to stay in Dundee due to a lack of accommodation in the city.

Tracey Rennie, 58, from Virginia, had to book five different hotels after her Vrbo accommodation in West Lothian was cancelled with only weeks to go. Left scrambling around for somewhere to stay and with most places filling up fast, the family face spending one night 60 miles away in Dundee.

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