Midlothian families fleeing domestic abuse will be housed in new emergency accommodation

The Midlothian Families Project will take six empty social housing units, which have been identified as difficult to re-let, and use them for short-term accommodation for people with children or a pregnant woman in their household.

A report to the council’s cabinet said that although two similar projects are already in place in the county, it was felt that a third location would benefit homeless tenants, who may need to flee their current location.

It says: “Due to the tenant’s support needs and sensitivity requirements in cases such as domestic violence (i.e. proximity to the alleged perpetrator), it would be beneficial for the service to helping homeless people to have additional emergency family accommodation in Midlothian.”

Photo by John Devlin.

At a cabinet meeting earlier today, plans for the third location were approved.

Council leader Kelly Parry (SNP) said: ‘Anything we can do to help with housing in general is welcome, but particularly in relation to people who might be fleeing domestic violence, for example, I think any work we can possibly do on that is really welcome.

Council chief officers Derek Oliver had told the meeting that the location of the houses which will be used for the new accommodation could not be disclosed “due to the sensitivities of potential tenants”.

Councilors have agreed to allow the properties, described as two three-bedroom houses and four two-bedroom houses, to be used as emergency accommodation.

The report to members said: “Housing Services Officers have identified a site that would be suitable. The properties are being upgraded to a rental level. All tenants who previously resided at this property have received a transfer of management and are suitably housed.

“The property is a property that has been difficult to re-let through the usual allotment route, resulting in extended cancellation periods and associated loss of rental income.”

The new location will have a concierge based on site, similar to the service provided in the other two projects.

Initial set-up costs are covered by funding received from the Scottish Government to find rapid transition plan projects for relocation.

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