Are you worried about becoming homeless?

The Coronavirus outbreak has impacted on people’s lives in so many ways.

Financial issues

People who previously would never have been at risk of homelessness are now facing the prospect of losing their homes. There are various reasons for this. The lockdown has affected many businesses so people have been financially affected if they have lost their employment and can no longer make mortgage or rent payments.

Domestic violence

Also during the lockdown there was an increase in incidence of domestic violence. Individuals fleeing abusive partners can end up becoming homeless if they don’t have family or friends to support them. National domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid recent report 'A Perfect Storm' investigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on domestic abuse survivors in Scotland, revealed that of those women living with their abuser during lockdown, 61% said the abuse had worsened. Also one-fifth (20.3%) of women experiencing domestic violence said that they had tried to leave during the pandemic but had been unable to access housing or refuge space.

Seek help

Cllr Stephen Curran, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Housing said: “The Coronavirus outbreak and the resulting lockdown has unexpectedly changed the personal circumstances of many people. If you are facing homeless I urge you to contact Midlothian Council’s Homelessness Unit as soon possible to avoid a crisis.”

Legislation says that you are homeless if you:

  • Have no accommodation that you are legally entitled to occupy
  • Cannot reasonably live in your accommodation
  • Cannot gain entry of your accommodation
  • Face violence / harassment
  • Don’t have permission to stay where you are, or family or friends you have been staying with have asked you to leave
  • Live in a place like a houseboat or caravan, and there is nowhere for you to place it and live in it
  • Are going to lose your accommodation within 2 months

How to contact the Homelessness Unit

Midlothian Council’s Housing Office in Buccleuch Street in Dalkeith is currently closed but you can still contact the Homelessness Unit by phone or email:

  • Call 0131 271 3397
  • Call our out of hours team on 0131 663 7211 if outwith normal office hours
  • Email [email protected]

 

2 Sep 2020