Glasgow manifesto for housing

Reflecting the priorities of individuals with lived experience, housing rights activists, local communities and constituents, this co-produced manifesto sets out what must happen to tackle the housing emergency in Glasgow.

Glasgow manifesto for housing

Reflecting the priorities of individuals with lived experience, housing rights activists, local communities and constituents, this co-produced manifesto sets out what must happen to tackle the housing emergency in Glasgow.

1. Tackle Glasgow’s housing supply crisis

Housing supply is a major issue in Glasgow; there simply aren’t enough good quality, affordable and social homes of the right size in the right places to meet people’s needs.

  • All political parties should commit to delivering the social housing required to reduce housing need in Glasgow, including through maximising the use of empty and vacant properties throughout the city. This means delivering high quality, energy efficient social homes of the right size in the places they are most needed, as part of sustainable and vibrant communities.

  • Glasgow City Council must prioritise tackling poor-quality existing housing stock by raising standards across all tenures and meeting the highest possible energy efficiency standards, in line with the city’s leading role in the COP26 conference.

  • Glasgow City Council should also take steps to ensure that housing stock in the city meets the needs of all communities by being of appropriate size and adapted to meet individual accessibility needs. This includes ensuring new social housing developments consider larger and multi-generational family households to help protect the rights of migrant and minority ethnic groups.

2. Strengthen and enforce housing rights

For too long, many people haven’t been aware of their housing rights and those housing rights have not been upheld and enforced by local authorities.

  • Glasgow City Council must work to ensure housing rights are enforced and upheld across their housing and homelessness system, and work with partners and individuals with lived experience of the housing emergency to ensure people are aware of their housing rights. Staff should be taking a rights-based approach to their work to ensure people know and can access their rights.

  • The council must ensure that the new Unsuitable Accommodation Order is complied with, and people are not forced into temporary accommodation that does not meet their needs.

  • To give people the best chance of recovery, the council should ensure that every person leaving prison, hospital, residential rehabilitation, or fleeing domestic violence is provided with accommodation that meets their assessed needs at point of need.

  • The local authority needs to do more to stand up for refugees and asylum seekers living in the area by upholding and enforcing the right to suitable accommodation. This means making available more properties of the right size and quality, and in the right locations within local communities.

'You can be getting out of rehab and not knowing until a day or two days before you leave that you’re going to be housed. It just puts an enormous amount of pressure on you.'

3. End the temporary accommodation emergency

Over 2,600 households were stuck in often poor-quality temporary accommodation in Glasgow last year, for 225 days on average, as of March 2021. The local authority needs to deliver on their new Temporary Accommodation strategy, and ensure people aren’t trapped in temporary accommodation for extended periods.

  • Glasgow needs to upgrade its temporary accommodation by improving the quality of existing stock and ensuring the temporary accommodation meets people’s needs. Too often people are placed in temporary accommodation far away from schools, support networks and communities, with the accommodation being in a state of disrepair.

  • People are stuck in temporary accommodation for significant lengths of time – often leading to poor mental health and increases in abuse, violence and addictions. The council needs to do more to get people into secure, permanent accommodation by increasing the number of allocations going to individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

'You see a sense of being trapped – you can’t afford to move into the private sector and have to endure long silent waits for adequate housing.'

4. Provide safe homes for children and families

The housing emergency is traumatic for children and families – putting physical and mental health, and education at risk. Glasgow City Council needs to do more to support children experiencing homelessness, poor quality accommodation and overcrowding.

  • The local authority should take steps to tackle the damaging crisis of overcrowding through increasing the supply of social homes of the right size and ensuring families with children have access to homes that meet their needs.

  • Rights must be upheld and prioritised, including through assessing health and education needs when allocating temporary and permanent social housing.

  • Mental health and wellbeing support for children and families experiencing homelessness should be provided, co-ordinating with health sector partners to deliver this.

  • Early progress should be made on complying with the right to adequate housing as outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was recently incorporated into Scots Law.

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