INVESTIGATION: Homeless people owe £34m debt to councils for ‘highly questionable’ charges

November 21, 2021

By Karin Goodwin in The Ferret

Homeless people across Scotland owe councils over £34million in “highly questionable“ charges for temporary accommodation, according to research by a Glasgow-based public law firm, which alleges local authorities may be acting unlawfully.

Campaigners said the “extortionate” charges were leading to debts worth thousands of pounds, and putting strain on people’s mental health when they were at their most vulnerable.

The report on charges incurred for temporary housing, due to be published next week, is based on freedom of information requests made by the Legal Service Agency to every local authority in Scotland.

Lawyers asked for details of unpaid charges as of December 2020. These can be incurred for rent for temporary homeless accommodation when it is not covered by housing benefit, either because people are not eligible or because the rent charged is more than the benefit will cover.

Picture by Sean Davenport

The full story is on The Ferret website

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