Lib Dems demand “ironclad guarantee” that progress on homelessness won’t be reversed

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have today demanded the government offer an ‘ironclad guarantee’ that progress made in tackling homelessness at the height of the pandemic will be protected and people will not be sent back on to the streets.

In a letter to the Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart, Scottish Liberal Democrats asked the Scottish Government to commit to the asks set out by Shelter Scotland:

  • Ensure no-one will be made homeless once emergency measures are lifted.
  • Prevent a return to using dormitory style emergency night shelters. 
  • Extend provisions in the Coronavirus Scotland Bill which protect people at risk of eviction and homelessness until at least April 2021.

The intervention comes as we move towards the 15th July - when tourism businesses are likely to be able to begin reopening their doors. Businesses across the sector are assessing how they can safely open and this will directly affect the hotels currently housing homeless people.

Alex Cole-Hamilton commented:

“The work that was done at the outset of the crisis to house people who were homeless was striking. 

“We should be immensely proud that people who in need got a roof over their head for the duration of the pandemic. But many people have been left wondering why interventions on this scale weren’t done sooner.

“Scotland has been battling a homelessness crisis for decades. Now we’ve shown it’s possible to tackle this at speed and leave no one outside, there’s no going back.

“The Scottish Government must give us an ironclad guarantee that this progress will be protected. Rough sleeping should be a thing of the past – permanently.”

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