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Controversy Arises as Scottish Homeless Relocated for Taylor Swift’s Edinburgh Concerts

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Controversy Arises as Scottish Homeless Relocated for Taylor Swift’s Edinburgh Concerts

Homeless people in Edinburgh are being boarded out of town to make room for Swifties packing the Scottish city to see Taylor Swift perform three shows from June 7 to 9.

 

Housing charity Shelter Scotland told the BBC that people in need of shelter are being shipped out to neighbouring cities because of stiff competition for hotel rooms From June 7-9, when the “Cruel Summer” singer performs at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium.

Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson called it “a blatant injustice” that people without homes find themselves “in direct competition” with tourists coming to see Swift’s record-breaking Eras Tour — the first-ever tour to gross more than $1 billion.

“A family going through the trauma of homelessness in Edinburgh should not have to move miles from their job, school, and community to find emergency accommodation,” Watson said.

However, there’s no indication anyone in temporary housing is being moved from their homes to make room for concertgoers. The Edinburgh City Council assured the BBC they have a legal obligation to assist those in need and nothing like that will happen.

The fact that hotels are sometimes needed to shelter the homeless population is a sign of the problem that housing insecurity has become, according to city council member Jane Meagher. The council reportedly declared a housing emergency in November.

Hotel rooms are provided to the homeless for up to a week when no other options are available. But Meagher said that solution isn’t sustainable when tourism spikes in the summertime. Officials are working with those impacted to find “alternative accommodation.”

The city’s temporary housing issue isn’t limited to Swift visits. The city’s annual Fringe Festival arts extravaganza — which lasts three weeks — could present the same challenges in August.

Budget hotels like Travelodge are already booked to capacity during Swift’s shows, according to the BBC. One night stays in hotels outside the city reportedly start around £330 ($420).

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