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Coronavirus: Providing suitable temporary accommodation   

By: Shelter Scotland  Published: March 2020

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Shelter Scotland are calling for councils to have new powers to make use of vacant holiday homes, in order to provide suitable temporary accommodation for those currently experiencing homelessness. 


During this global public health emergency, it is vital that we provide everyone who is homeless with safe and suitable temporary accommodation. The social distancing, self-isolation, and material support inherent to any socially effective and therefore public health response must apply to everyone in our communities. 

  • Emergency powers should be included in legislation to allow for compulsory letting orders on public health grounds to allow these types of holiday or empty properties to be used as suitable temporary accommodation during this crisis
  • Local government should work with services and accommodation providers to ensure that no one is sleeping rough or being left without suitable accommodation as a result of hostel and B&B closures, and that everyone is supported into appropriate accommodation where they can safely adhere to government guidance.