Provision of Temporary Accommodation
Under certain circumstances we have a legal obligation to provide temporary accommodation, if required. If we need to provide you with temporary accommodation it will be arranged by your case officer, or our emergency service if it is an "out of hours" emergency. Your Case Officer will advise you on accommodation options as part of the service they provide. The one exception may be if you are a woman is fleeing domestic abuse - then you may also be able to get accommodation by contacting Womens Aid direct (see below).
We presently have about 240 units of temporary furnished accommodation in a range of locations in East Lothian. These are individual properties, which are furnished and available to homeless families or individuals. Some of these are council owned, others are housing association houses rented to the Council and a number are owned by private landlords and are leased to the Council for this purpose.
You will be charged the rental for the property concerned, the appropriate Council Tax and any service charges related to the property.
Where will I have to go?
In identifying temporary accommodation the Council will consider a range of issues such as education, employment and family support. We try to place people in accommodation that causes the least impact on their social circumstances. Where a family with children have initially been placed in bed and breakfast accommodation on an emergency basis, other accommodation will be provided within 7 days.
We will endeavor to provide accommodation which meets your social circumstances but your final placement may be outwith your preferred areas. If this is the case, we will look for accommodation more suitable for your needs, but we will not move you if that is to the detriment of another homeless family - for example if moving you meant a family with children then had to be accommodated in bed and breakfast accommodation.
Specialist supported accommodation for single people
The Council has access to three accommodation units for single people, providing supported accommodation for homeless applicants. Two of the properties are specifically designed to provide accommodation and support for young people under 19 years of age (up to 21 years in certain circumstances). These provide 24 units of accommodation. A further seven room unit exists for those over 21; again this is accommodation with support. We place people in these units based on their need, and we do expect the people we house there to make full use of the support services provided.
Specialist temporary accommodation can also be made available to women fleeing domestic abuse by East and Midlothian Women's Aid. Applicants can approach Womens Aid directly or their case officer will contact Womens Aid to find out if any vacancies exist, as part of their assessment of temporary accommodation needs. Further information can be found on the Women's Aid - East & Midlothian website.
Bed and breakfast accommodation
Unfortunately the Council, especially in emergency circumstances, still uses bed and breakfast accommodation to provide temporary accommodation. As with other forms of temporary accommodation we will consider education, employment and family support and try and place people in accommodation which causes the least impact to their circumstances.
However, the priority will be to provide a roof over your head.
The Council charges for B and B accommodation. All applicants are expected to pay at least £15 per week towards the costs of heating and lighting, which they would have to pay in their own accommodation. Depending on your financial circumstances you may have to pay an additional charge of up to £66 per week.