Glasgow City council 'not housing homeless quickly enough'


Glasgow City Council is not housing people who are homeless quickly enough, a watchdog has found.

The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) also ruled many people were spending too much time in temporary accommodation, an average of 238 days.

In 2016/17 the council secured homes for nearly 2,000 families, around half of those it had a duty to house.

It said progress had been made in recent times but improvements were still needed.

But Shelter Scotland said the council's performance was "not acceptable".

The SHR reviewed how effectively the council and registered social landlords (RSL) worked to secure homes for homeless people.

More to do

Michael Cameron, SHR chief executive, said: "Local authorities have a duty to provide homes to people who are homeless.

"RSLs have a duty to help them do that.

"The council is not housing enough people who are homeless quickly enough and it is not referring enough people to RSLs to meet housing need."

Mr Cameron said some RSLs made a good contribution to providing homes to people who were homeless but some had more to do.

He added: "We expect the council and its partners to respond positively to the recommendations in our report.

"The council must improve urgently the services it provides for people who are homeless."

The report calls on the council to streamline its approach to assessment and referral, especially for those who need only limited or no assistance beyond getting a home.

This would move people who are homeless quickly into homes, freeing up temporary accommodation for those who need it.

'Unacceptable practices'

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, expressed concern at the findings.

He said: "This report highlights that despite some process improvements, Glasgow City Council failed to provide a home for almost half of those that it had a duty to house last year.

"This is not acceptable."

He said the charity has been raising concerns about the experiences of homeless people in the city for years.

Mr Brown added: "In particular, we have serious concerns that Glasgow City Council is too often failing to meet its legal duty to find suitable homes for homeless households and that too many people are being turned away from the services they have a legal right to.

"These unacceptable practices must stop now.

"Radical and comprehensive action is now needed to ensure homeless people get the services they need, are entitled to and deserve in Glasgow."

Improvements required

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: "We accept that improvements within the system are still required to ensure people who present as homeless can move into a permanent home as soon as possible.

"We are currently working to a comprehensive improvement plan which is reshaping how homelessness services are being delivered in Glasgow, and we have worked very closely with the regulator on this over the past 2-3 years.

"It is always our aim for people affected by homelessness to return quickly to mainstream housing.

"Along with the city's social landlords, we will study the report's recommendations very carefully and work with them and other partners to make the appropriate changes to the way services are currently delivered."

The council said it was pleased the SHR acknowledged improvements that were being made.

The spokesman added: "The report also identifies many areas of positive practice in Glasgow's homelessness system and also the scale of the challenge faced by the city's support services.

"As the regulator recognises, the council and its partners are working together more effectively to support those affected by homelessness."

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