Solidarity protest with homeless people
End the Horror of SLUM HOMELESS HOSTELS IN EDINBURGH
Wednesday 17 January 10am – 11.30am
Abbots House 10 Links Place EH6 7EZ
Abbots house was recently reviewed as “absolutely disgusting”, but its business is flourishing. Its owner is making a fortune from exploiting homeless people placed there by Edinburgh City Council.
Instead of building homes to solve the housing crisis once and for all the Council persists in a mischievous plan funding private profit through public money against public interest. The housing crisis has seen Edinburgh City Council paying out £120,000 a week to hostels and B&Bs. While the numbers of homeless continue to grow, Edinburgh Council has been using rotten hostels and B&B as temporary accommodation.
Whole families are being put in one room. Dirty and dilapidated rooms, filthy mattresses, disgusting shared bathrooms and toilets with no locks….. The shocking conditions in Abbots House and Almond House B&B’s were exposed in the Daily Record in August 2017 – with some of the residents describing them as more similar to prisons than homes – but things are now worse than ever.
We say to City of Edinburgh Council:
· Stop putting families in homeless bed and breakfasts
· Take immediate action to drastically improve the appalling conditions in Abbots House and other homeless B&B’s like Almond House
· Provide more genuine social housing for rent so no-one has to stay in homeless B&B’s
GOOD HOMES FOR ALL
There are more than enough resources to build good homes for all. But profit is being put before people’s needs. Developers make more money from luxury hotels, shopping centres, and expensive private homes – the number of council houses in Edinburgh has fallen from 58,000 in the late 1970’s to under 20,000. In the meantime rents in Edinburgh are soaring, with entire neighbourhoods being made unaffordable for working class people, displaced by luxurious hotels and private homes for the few.
After years of succumbing to the logic of social cleansing of the city, Edinburgh is seeing a resurgence of direct action against the housing crisis. The group that is most significant in this wave of protest is led by mothers from North Edinburgh who have been affected by the cuts to housing benefit. This group “All About Me” contest the benefits cap as the reason why so many families are getting evicted and finding nowhere else to go. After a summer of protest including occupations of Council offices and meetings and the take-over of Tory party offices, the group has gained the small victory of the abolition of charges for homeless people taking their possessions out of council storage.
This should be considered only the beginning of this campaign to put an end to the system of profit over homelessness operated by Edinburgh City council and its cohorts of private profiteers. Together we can confront the housing crisis and fight back against austerity and the cuts, we need to make these brutal policies unworkable.
Abbots House, 10 Links Place, Edinburgh EH6 7EZ (By Leith Links. 12 bus – or 16 to Constitution Street, then walk along Queen Charlotte Street)
Campaign demands and reports of earlier actions
North Edinburgh Action Group, All About Me, Power to the People group, Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty. Contact via firstname.lastname@example.org