Questions over ERC homeless proposal

Plans to use sheltered housing to provide temporary roofs for the homeless have been called into question by East Renfrewshire Tenants & Residents Federation.

As reported in last week’s Extra, housing chiefs at East Renfrewshire Council aim to ease their reliance on bed and breakfasts as temporary accommodation for the homeless.

Housing convener Danny Devlin calls the move “good progress” — however, in a letter to The Extra, federation chair David McCormick writes: “ERC are to be commended for attempting to use less B&Bs — but at what cost to tenants?

“Councillor Devlin said helping the most vulnerable in society was important, however what he did not say was that the council intended to use sheltered housing for short stay/overnight, which would have a massive impact on the very vulnerable elderly residents.”

He adds: “This idea to use sheltered housing as a homeless unit means that vulnerable residents will have strangers wandering the corridors and a lot of noise at night, which will be extremely stressful and frightening.

“Sheltered housing is a place of safe haven and should continue being safe and peaceful. A rethink should be taken.”

The council responds that the plan to use empty rooms in sheltered housing is for “a small influx” of over 60s only, “until we can find them permanent accommodation”.

A spokeswoman added: ““Our efforts to reduce the use of B&Bs follows a drive by the Scottish Government to think holistically and work in partnership to reduce homelessness in East Ren.

“We need to work together in a meaningful way to reduce homelessness.”