HOMELESS people in Edinburgh are being forced out of hotel-style accommodation in the city in preparation for Taylor Swift coming to the capital.

According to Third Force News (TFN), multiple homeless people have been removed from the accommodation they were staying in, with the Labour-run council suggesting the move was due to Taylor Swift performing at Murrayfield in June, as well as the upcoming summer holidays.

City of Edinburgh Council bosses have said due to the number of people travelling to the city and booking into hotels, there was no availability for the local authority to book up rooms for vulnerable people.

Swift will play three nights at Murrayfield between June 7 and 9 with an estimated 218,000 tickets sold.

READ MORE: Taylor Swift: Scottish council criticised for asking staff to volunteer at gigs

Homeless Network Scotland said the reports of homeless people being removed from accommodation “lays bare the reality of the housing emergency” facing the city.

The charity said in a statement: “It is appalling that people already dealing with the agony of homelessness could be forced onto the streets because of a gig, but it is also telling.

“The fact that a single event could have this effect lays bare the reality of the housing emergency in Edinburgh. The city is at bursting point and it’s not even festival season yet.

“The Scottish Government must prioritise supporting Edinburgh and Edinburgh must prioritise helping people facing the greatest need. In the longer term, Scotland needs more investment in social and affordable housing.”

Analysis by planning and development consultancy Lichfields in 2022 found that there were 22,331 rooms available in hotels, hostels, B&Bs, short-term let and serviced apartments across the city. 

In Edinburgh, a total of 19 hotels, hostels and B&Bs which are still operational have been publicly listed or reported as being used as temporary accommodation for homeless individuals in Edinburgh in the past five years. These are likely to be among the more than 40 sites which are mentioned in a 2022 council report as being used to temporarily house homeless individuals in the city. 

Of those identified by TFN, only four have any availability over the weekend of June 7 to 9, with the cheapest room among these listed for £340 per night. 

READ MORE: Are there still tickets for Taylor Swift's Edinburgh shows?

The Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014, which came into effect in 2020, outlined that homeless households should not be placed in temporary accommodation that is “unsuitable”. 

Location can also deem accommodation unsuitable, according to the legislation. Subject to exceptions, temporary housing is also unsuitable if it is outwith the local authority area, and the household has not agreed to be accommodated there. 

Some people told TFN they were faced with a choice between inaccessible accommodation within Edinburgh, or being forced outwith the city – with no access to health or social support – to stay.

It comes amid continuing concern about the availability and cost of accommodation for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which can also see many people forced to stay outside the capital.

Councillor Jane Meagher, housing, homelessness and fair work convener at City of Edinburgh Council, said: “It is a symptom of the housing emergency we face in Edinburgh that at times we must use tourist accommodation to house homeless households. 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.”