Hotel rooms

More hotel rooms in Edinburgh will be used as temporary accommodation for the homeless

Edinburgh Council has recommended that a hotel in Haymarket be used as homeless accommodation for another year.

Edinburgh City Council’s (CEC) Finance and Resources Committee is meeting tomorrow (3 March) and a report prepared for them recommends that the Haymarket Hub Hotel continues to be used as temporary accommodation for the homeless .

In addition, 41 other contracts with hotels and bed and breakfasts in the city are expected to be approved.

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The budget for temporary accommodation has been increased by a further £12m this year to deal with the pandemic, but the committee said this may not be enough, and a further £2m has been proposed.

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The Haymarket Hotel in Clifton Terrace currently provides Edinburgh Council with 115 rooms for the temporary accommodation of homeless people, but the council is considering increasing this number to 147 or 160 rooms.

A summary prepared for the committee explained that the coronavirus pandemic has led to more people being taken off the streets and placed in temporary accommodation.

He said: ‘During the Covid-19 emergency the council has been required to significantly increase the number of temporary accommodation available to meet demand. There is always a demand for additional temporary accommodation to enable the council to fulfill its legal obligation to accommodate homeless people.

The report goes on to explain that during the health crisis, Edinburgh council had to accommodate an additional 1,000 people and secure them temporary accommodation, as is their legal obligation.

Before the pandemic, there were 3,570 households in temporary accommodation, but since March 2020 that number has risen to 4,642, a 30% spike.

A local homeless charity, the Bethany Trust, has also been based at the hotel for a year, providing homeless people with three meals a day and round-the-clock assistance.

The Haymarket Hotel will not be used exclusively as accommodation for the homeless, and bookings are still available to the public for the hotel this weekend, ranging from £51-£57 for a room for two.