Homelessness in Edinburgh has bucked the national trend by
increasing to an all time high.
Campaign groups such as Shelter Scotland are blaming
Edinburgh’s economic boom and the escalating costs of
property in the city for the increase in homelessness.
In 1999-2000, the number of people declaring themselves homeless
in Edinburgh rose by 5 per cent on the previous year to a total of
4,342. The city’s statistics were released at the same time
as government figures estimated that the number of people sleeping
rough in England had fallen by 70 per cent over the last three
years to just over 500.
Meanwhile the Scottish executive launched the Mortgage Rights
(Scotland) Act which will introduce a range of alternatives to
repossessing the homes of families who fall into serious mortgage
arrears. As part of the scheme some £9 million has been set
aside by the executive over the next three years to fund a mortgage
to rent scheme.
The new legislation is expected to prevent 5,000 families in
Scotland from losing their homes each year.