Homeless people being housed in university accommodation

South Lanarkshire Council leasing student flats in Hamilton as part of its response to coronavirus pandemic.

Homeless people being housed in university accommodation Getty Images

Homeless people are moving into student accommodation in Hamilton following a new agreement between South Lanarkshire Council and the University of the West of Scotland (UWS).

As part of their response to the coronavirus pandemic, the council have leased 50 units from the university’s Barrack Street accommodation to house people in need during the crisis.

A partnership has been drawn up with the Salvation Army to manage housing support services for the units occupied by the local authority.

The charity has also submitted a bid of £100,000 to the Scottish Government’s third sector fund while additional funding is being sourced.

UWS’s student accommodation at Barrack Street is due to be replaced in September by a new facility at Caird Street, which means the council will be able to house homeless people there for an initial six-month period.

Daniel Lowe, Executive Director of Housing, said: “The development of new student residencies for UWS Hamilton campus presented an opportunity to use the former student accommodation at Barrack Street, Hamilton, to address the recent increased pressure upon the homelessness service for short term accommodation.

“Having worked closely with UWS and the Salvation Army, the council is able to confirm that the new facility is now up and running.”

UWS will continue to be responsible for the maintenance and repairs to the building with the rental cost of the 50 units set at £4250 per week – £85 per unit – including utilities.

With the added pressures of the pandemic, South Lanarkshire Council says it has been looking for solutions to ensure they meet their statutory duty to provide suitable temporary accommodation to homeless households.

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