Local authority acting ‘unlawfully’ over housing homeless

Glasgow Council has been urged to end its denial of temporary accommodation for rough sleepers.

Homelessness - Rough Sleeper

Glasgow City Council (GCC) is acting “unlawfully” in denying homeless people temporary accommodation, according to Shelter Scotland.

In a letter delivered to the City Chambers by the housing charity, the council have been urged to end the practice to avoid court action.

The case was presented as part of the charity’s ‘The People v Glasgow City Council’ campaign in which people who had previously experienced homelessness helped to prepare the legal case.

Graeme Brown, Shelter Scotland director said that the “facts are clear” in that Glasgow City Council are breaking the law and that the reality of homeless people being forced onto the streets is “getting worse”.

“This is a Glasgow problem that needs leadership from the top to tackle. When Shelter Scotland supporters protested outside the City Chambers last year, we were hopeful that things would get better.

“Instead the numbers have gone up during a year when 47 people have died on Glasgow’s streets.

“Rights are not a privilege – they are a legal entitlement enforceable by law and GCC should not be allowed to disregard the law with impunity.

He added: “If action is not taken to end this practice and public bodies can pick and choose which laws they wish to follow, then it will undermine citizens’ rights across the board.”

If the judicial; review goes ahead, said Brown, the next steps for Shelter is to urge the courts to ask the council to prepare and submit a revised homelessness strategy to guarantee temporary accommodation for “every homeless person that needs it”.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “As they [Shelter] are aware, there are significant pressures on our homelessness accommodation service and we are working with the Scottish Housing Regulator and partners in the third and housing sectors to tackle these challenges.

“Rather than raising money for court action it would be helpful if Shelter worked constructively with us to tackle the pressing issue of homelessness.

“We share a common aim and threats of legal action are an unhelpful distraction to this crucial work.”

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