The Fight for Home starts here!

Shelter Scotland exists to fight for everyone experiencing problems with their housing – whether that’s problems with repairs, a house that doesn’t meet their needs or that they are facing homelessness.  More than one in three adults living in Scotland today are impacted by the housing emergency – this means an estimated 1.5 million people are currently struggling with their housing.  Many people are worried about being able to afford their home over the next year while we are still battling a pandemic, when having a safe home to stay in has been the first line of defence.  What is clear, is that Scotland’s housing system is broken and biased.  We exist to stand alongside everyone who is being failed by this broken system.

People living in Edinburgh are hit hard by the housing emergency.  Only 14% of properties in Edinburgh are social homes, compared to the national average which is  23%.  The average rent in Edinburgh in the private sector is £1,336 per month, which means renting privately is completely unaffordable for large numbers of people.  High rents and the shortage of social homes places the homelessness system under immense pressure.  As a result, we have seen people who are homeless turned away when trying to get temporary accommodation because there are no spaces available.  We also see people put into temporary accommodation that doesn’t meet their needs, and they sometimes have to stay there for years before they are able to get a permanent home.

If you are angry about how difficult it is to find a safe, affordable home in our city, we understand – we’re angry too.  Day in and day out, our Advisers in Edinburgh work to find temporary and permanent accommodation for people that meets all of their needs, but this can be very challenging.  This is why as well as providing advice and advocacy, we campaign with the people affected to try to change the housing system and fight for more homes to be built.  We want a Scotland where no one has to face impossible decisions such as whether to eat, heat their home or pay their rent.

You can be part of the fight.  We are rallying the country to end the housing emergency – and this is only the start.  With your help, we’ll reform private renting, demand more social homes are built, and be there for anyone fighting housing injustice.

You can sign up to Fight for Home by clicking here.  We will keep you updated on our work, campaigns, fundraising activities, events, volunteering opportunities, and products and services.

Nicola Hazelton, Edinburgh Community Hub Manager, Shelter Scotland

The Work of Shelter Scotland

Shelter Scotland have created a consultation and peer-led model called Time for Change, that includes the voices of people experiencing homelessness and housing problems in shaping and designing solutions to local problems. Time for Change Edinburgh began in April 2019 and since then we have:

  • Held local consultations on local problems and solutions, through the voices of those affected by homelessness and housing problems;
  • Held a Consultation Event;
  • Involvement from eight Time for Change peers – local people experiencing homelessness or housing problems who have a passion to make change;
  • Designed and delivered a local Sleep Walk march, which Edinburgh Tenants Federation.

The Time for Change peers have an incredible passion to make real change and have helped buddy people to the Shelter Scotland hub to meet advisors and met people in communities who they have signposted to available help.

Lisa, Time for Change peer, believes it is time “to change opinions of homelessness”. She reflects on her experiences of homelessness, and how people need to understand how it affects people individually, what they experience in temporary accommodation, and the consequences on families e.g. prison, families being split, etc.

Lyndsey, Hub Support Volunteer and Time for Change peer explains her involvement, “I have been involved for some time, I have participated in the questionnaires [consultation] at various places like the prison, Salvation Army hostels. It was very interesting hearing other people’s stories”. Lyndsey also explains what the experience has been like for the peers involved from her perspective, “All the peers have got different things from Time for Change, but we all want the same thing, to make a change to homelessness”.

Time for Change peers want to see more social housing, better social housing, and housing available to local people to help prevent homelessness in Edinburgh and communities. We would love to hear from more people who live in social housing in Edinburgh, so if you would like to make your voice heard – get in touch.

The Sleep Walk for Shelter

Nicola Hazelton, Edinburgh Hub Manager, Shelter Scotland