In Edinburgh, Swifties could take the place of homeless people in hotels

Only one week left until June 7: the countdown is on in Edinburgh before the arrival of thousands of tourist-fans of Taylor Swift. The Scottish city is one of the lucky ones that will host the Eras Tour, during the pop singer’s European tour. She will play three nights in a row at Murrayfield Stadium, in front of 215,000 spectators in total.

But where will all this audience stay? This is where the picture gets darker. Because if the arrival of the star is a “good news for the city’s business”, she is not “for vulnerable people”, underlines the British daily The Times, which reminds us that Edinburgh is “already short of housing for its own residents”. By June 7, homeless people could even “finding yourself without a housing solution because the city wants to make room” to Swifties.

Gross injustice

“It appears that very precarious families were removed from emergency hotels and their rooms allocated to these admirers,” comments The Times.

Most Edinburgh hotels are already fully booked for the concert weekend, booked by fans at an average rate of £686 – or €805 – per night. These same rooms and inns which are “usually made available to homeless people in the form of temporary accommodation”, note The National, daily based in Glasgow.

Charities report that homeless people are being sent out of the city “due to the severe housing shortage caused by this concert”.

One of them, Shelter Scotland, told Times that several homeless people “had been sent by taxi (to temporary accommodation) to Aberdeen and Glasgow”, and even “to Newcastle, England”.

Describing the situation as“blatant injustice”, the association denounces the fact that “homeless people find themselves in direct competition with tourists”.

Fuzzy positioning

Scotland as a whole is experiencing a serious housing crisis, like its Irish neighbor. In early May, the local government even “declared a national emergency in this matter”, recalls the British radio website BBC.

In Edinburgh too, the city council has sounded the alarm regarding “record figures for the number of homeless people” And “the lack of social rental housing”, add the BBC.

But a week before Taylor Swift’s first concert, her positioning is still unclear. If he says that there is no question, for the moment, “to evict homeless people from housing where they are already housed”, he admitted that he “would have a hard time” to reserve them for those who do not already have a solution during these dates, to the extent that they are not a priority compared to the fans, who, for their part, book in a hurry, and in mass. “At least twenty homeless households are already affected,” noted The Times.

However, the Swift case may not be isolated. Shelter Scotland entrusted the BBC what “expected the situation to recur during the Fringe, a festival held in the city” in the month of Augustand each time tourists will arrive by the thousands in a city that cannot accommodate them.

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