Scotland’s Capital City Sends Homeless People Elsewhere To Make Room For Taylor Swift Fans, Housing Charity Alleges

The Edinburgh City Council (ECC) in Scotland sent homeless people out of Edinburgh to make room for fans of Taylor Swift amid a housing emergency and Swift’s forthcoming concert, a housing charity in Scotland alleged Wednesday.

Several homeless people whom Shelter Scotland supports were taxied out to Aberdeen, Glasgow and as far as England’s northernmost borough of Newcastle, as a Taylor Swift concert approached, Shelter Scotland reportedly told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The homeless people would otherwise have been offered emergency temporary accommodation in places such as hotels in line with legal obligations, the BBC report indicated.

Taylor Swift is expected to perform at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium from Jun. 7 to 9. Competition for hotel rooms is fierce as Swift fans are expected to turn out in their hundreds of thousands. The shows are sold out, the ECC said Tuesday.

“Homeless families and tourists being forced to compete for the same accommodation is further evidence of Edinburgh’s and indeed most of Scotland’s housing emergency,” Shelter Scotland said in part in a statement.

Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson called the situation “a blatant injustice,” the BBC reported.

“If this is true it’s disgraceful and I’m sure Ms Swift would be shocked,” a commenter responded to Shelter Scotland.

The situation appears to affect newly homeless people applying for emergency temporary housing, as the BBC reported not having seen any evidence of homeless people who are already in emergency housing being removed from such housing.

However, the ECC provides temporary housing as a last resort and for only seven days — and a homeless person currently staying in a hotel reportedly told the BBC he would have to leave Friday but was “scared” as hotel prices have spiked.

“Our frontline services are already seeing people in need of a bed tonight being told their only option is to leave of the city,” Watson further told the BBC. “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.” (RELATED: Blue City Cleans Up Homeless Encampments Just In Time For Chinese President’s Visit: REPORT)

The ECC reportedly told the BBC it was “absolutely not” removing people from temporary housing to make room for Swift fans.

“It is a symptom of the housing emergency we face in Edinburgh that at times we must use tourist accommodation to house homeless households,” the ECC’s housing convenor Councillor Jane Meagher told the BBC. “We know it won’t be available year-round, particularly over the busy summer months, so we use it reluctantly as a last resort. We’re aware of the situation and are working with the affected households to find appropriate, alternative accommodation.”

“Business as usual from The Scottish Government won’t cut it. They need to deliver an emergency action plan, now!” Shelter Scotland further said.

The ECC reportedly declared a city-wide housing emergency Nov. 2023 as homelessness reached a record high, social rented homes became scarce, and private rental costs ballooned.

Scotland reportedly declared a national housing emergency earlier this month after prolonged pressure from campaigners and opposition parties.