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A Life in Limbo

A life in limbo, no more!

Everyone should have a safe, secure, warm and stable place to call home. But a sudden shock like losing a job, becoming ill, or a relationship breakdown can quickly force people into homelessness.

When this has happened in the past, many people in Scotland have faced months on end living in limbo, stuck in unsuitable temporary accommodation such as B&Bs.

Our latest research showed that this damages people’s mental health and job prospects, entrenching their homelessness.

But thanks to campaigning by Crisis members and supporters, people in Scotland will face a life in limbo no more. In September 2019, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced in the 2019 Programme for Government that the Unsuitable Accommodation Order will be changed so that no one in Scotland has to live in unsuitable temporary accommodation such as B&Bs for more than seven days.

Legislation to be introduced in this parliamentary year, which takes effect in May 2021 will equalise the law so that no one has to live a life in limbo, languishing in unliveable accommodation.

We did it together!

This win was possible only through the resolve of our members with lived experience of homelessness and our supporters, who have played their part by contacting their MSPs and responding to the Scottish Government’s recent consultation on the law change.

We’ll keep working to make sure this commitment translates to real change for people experiencing homelessness.

The law will come in to effect in 2021 so there is still an opportunity to spread the word about the current situation facing thousands of people experiencing homelessness in Scotland.

Watch Cooking in a Kettle online, or why not host a film screening for your family and friends.  

If you would like to get more involved in what we are planning next, contact our campaigns team at campaigns@crisis.org.uk.

Campaign resources

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Campaign news

As the publication of the Scottish Government’s new Action Plan for Ending Homelessness Together was debated in the Scottish Parliament yesterday and received cross-party backing, Jon Sparkes, Crisis chief executive and chair of the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group, (HARSAG) blogs about the significant progress that’s been made in the last 15 months.


A briefing to inform the Scottish Parliament debate on their Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan, the first action plan from a British government committing to end homelessness


The Scottish Government must act quickly to move homeless people on from unsuitable temporary accommodation (UTA) as new research shows the detrimental impact it can have on lives.


New research, commissioned by Crisis and undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers, has estimated that Scottish Government could ensure local authorities save £29m in 2018 by moving homeless people out of unsuitable temporary accommodation to more suitable temporary accommodation (e.g. supported hostels and social housing) within seven days.


Jon Sparkes' latest blog on the Scottish Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group. "I am delighted to begin this blog by confirming that this week, Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing has accepted in principal the recommendations from the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group on how to transform temporary accommodation."


This report looks at the costs of unsuitable accommodation for homeless people in Scotland.


This report looks at the use of prolonged unsuitable accommodation for homeless people in Scotland.


Temporary accommodation is an important first step in helping homeless people find a safe and secure home. But in parts of Scotland some people are being placed in unsuitable accommodation, such as unsupported hostels, lodging houses or B&Bs for months at a time without access to basic facilities such as a washing machine or cooking facilities.