Scottish Government tries to improve homeless accommodation

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Jordan Hunter
Reporter

The Scottish government’s new guidelines on temporary accommodation have been heavily criticised.

The Scottish Government has released new guidelines for councils in order to provide better accommodate temporary homelessness.

The guidelines include the council exploring options such as bed and breakfasts and hotels in order to provide shelter while a more permanent solution is sought after. They also request a higher standard of living for accommodations.

In the past, many temporary accommodations had problems such as bed bugs, heating issues, and sheets stained in bodily fluids.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Scotland has some of the strongest homelessness rights in the world and these changes will allow more people to benefit from the support available.”

Stewart said the guidelines are part of a wider action plan, backed by £50 million, which sets out the steps the government will take to end homelessness for good.

Labour opposition have criticized temporary accommodation as it has allowed for private companies to profit off people’s dire situations.

Shelter, a housing charity, has welcomed the attention on the issue, but says the guidelines are too soft. Earlier this year, Shelter threatened to sue Glasgow City Council over their treatment of homeless people and blames them for the deaths of homeless people.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “This doesn’t go far enough. Shelter Scotland has long been campaigning for legally enforceable standards and welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to introducing these.”

He went on to talk about how while he appreciated the Scottish Government’s move to put homelessness on the forefront of debates, the move does not force the councils to change anything.

Shelter continues to promote their petition, “Are you with us?”, which calls for housing to become a human right and for councils to be held more accountable.