Monday, June 17, 2024

Homeless People Sent Out Of Scottish City To Make Room For Taylor Swift Fans, Alleges Housing Charity


The singer will be playing three nights at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield stadium from June 7-9.

A housing charity in Scotland has alleged that the Edinburgh City Council (ECC) sent homeless people out of the city to make room for fans of Taylor Swift ahead of her concert. Housing charity Shelter Scotland told the BBC that people in need of shelter are being sent to neighbouring towns due to stiff competition for hotel rooms.

Notably, the singer will be playing three nights at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield stadium from June 7-9 and some 200,000 fans are expected to attend the concert. 

Budget hotels such as Travelodge have already been booked during Swift’s show. Prices for a one-night stay at hotels outside the city reportedly start at around $420.

Meanwhile, the charity said several homeless people have been sent by taxi to Aberdeen and Glasgow because of a shortage of accommodation in the city due to the upcoming concert. One person was offered accommodation in the city of Newcastle, some 160 kilometres from Edinburgh, they said.

Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson called it ”a blatant injustice” that people without homes find themselves ”in direct competition” with tourists.

”Our frontline services are already seeing people in need of a bed tonight being told their only option is to leave 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,” Ms Watson said.

On X, the housing charity wrote: ”Homeless families and tourists being forced to compete for the same accommodation is further evidence of The City of Edinburgh Council and indeed most of Scotland’s housing emergency.”

But there’s no indication anyone in temporary housing is being moved from their homes to make room for concertgoers. Edinburgh City Council said it was ”absolutely not” moving tenants out of temporary accommodation to make way for Taylor Swift fans. They assured the BBC they have a legal obligation to assist those in need and nothing like that will happen.

However, its housing convenor 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.”

The council declared a housing emergency last November, citing record homelessness figures, a severe shortage of socially rented homes and spiralling private rental costs. Earlier this month, the Scottish government also declared a national housing emergency after sustained pressure from campaigners and opposition parties.

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