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A Life in Limbo

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 happens, many people in Scotland face months on end living in limbo, stuck in unsuitable temporary accommodation such as B&Bs.

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

But it doesn’t have to be like this. Change is possible.

In November 2018, the Scottish Government responded to Crisis’ A Life in Limbo campaign by saying it would extend the limit on time spent in emergency B&Bs, hostels or hotels to everybody experiencing homelessness. But they’re soon to consult on the detail of this time limit, so it’s essential that we make a strong case to ensure that no one is left homeless, living a life in limbo.

Add your name and we'll keep you updated on ways you can support the campaign, and help end homelessness in Scotland for good.

**UPDATE** The consultation is now open:

  • If you are a community supporter add your voice HERE
  • If you have personal experience living in unsuitable emergency accommodation share your views HERE

The clip below showcases a play written and performed by Crisis members. Light-hearted yet thought provoking, Cooking in a Kettle highlights some of the issues faced by people experiencing homelessness living in unsuitable temporary accommodation. 

Campaign resources

Will you call time on lives lived in limbo? Add your support now to help prevent homelessness.

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.