Report confirms failure of Glasgow homeless services, says Shelter Scotland

Posted 04 Nov 2020

A newly-published report from the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) confirms that Glasgow City council failed in its legal duties to homeless people.

The report on the SHR’s inquiry into Glasgow City Council’s services for people experiencing homelessness finds that pre-pandemic the Council did not ensure it had enough suitable temporary accommodation and did not provide temporary accommodation to significant numbers of people when they needed it.

It includes alarming evidence of families with children being turned away without the Council knowing where they would sleep that night, and of single people being sent to sleep on the streets with the Council’s knowledge.

While the report reflects some positive developments – 17 new staff have been hired in recent months and an increase in the number of lets from housing association has made a real difference during the pandemic – it’s clear that the that the Council was seriously failing before coronavirus hit.

The inquiry was announced last year, after we launched legal action against Glasgow City Council over its practice of “gatekeeping” – where people who present as homeless are refused their legal rights.

Commenting on the report, our Director Alison Watson said:

“This report confirms the systemic failure of Glasgow City Council’s homelessness services, which has led to thousands of people being denied their legal rights.

“We took legal action last year because we’d had enough of the Council routinely breaking the law and forcing people onto the streets. This inquiry wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the thousands of people who supported our action, in Glasgow and beyond.

“We’ll now take the time to carefully reflect on the report and assess what needs to happen next. We welcome the Regulator’s findings and recommendations and look forward to meeting to discuss the issues further. The test will be how Glasgow City Council responds positively to this unprecedented intervention.

“Our shared goal must be to ensure that everyone who presents to the Council as homeless is provided with the safe and suitable accommodation they’re legally entitled to.”