Midlothian hails ‘significant’ drop in temporary accommodation use

Midlothian hails 'significant' drop in temporary accommodation use

The number of individuals and families in temporary homes throughout Midlothian has almost halved in the last five years, councillors have been told.

At a full meeting of Midlothian Council yesterday, councillors heard there were 1082 families or individuals living in places like a refuge or bed and breakfast on 31 March 2018.

Measures to tackle homelessness, including no longer using bed and breakfasts as temporary accommodation, has seen that figure drop to 587 on 31 March 2023.

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for housing, Councillor Stuart McKenzie applauded officers for “transforming lives”.

He said: “I can only begin to imagine the constant stress, insecurity and depression of not having a stable, permanent home. The ongoing work to lift people out of homelessness and support them towards a better future is commendable.

“Council officers are quite literally transforming lives. Working with partner agencies, our aim would be that everyone has a secure, affordable home.

“This report shows we are continuing to make significant progress towards that goal by cutting the number of people experiencing homelessness. We’ve done a lot of work, we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

Councillors noted the updated Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan, which is to be submitted to the Scottish Government this month.

The plan outlines achievements including 129 households having temporary accommodation converted to a permanent, secure tenancy.

A total of 57 homeless applicants with multiple and complex support needs were now in permanent homes since the Housing First initiative launched in July 2020 in Midlothian. The project offers people experiencing homelessness secure homes and wraparound support including help with mental health issues.

The report also highlights that the converted Jarnac Court in Dalkeith now provides good quality temporary accommodation to 22 households and onsite support.

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