Housing

Shelter Scotland is protesting in Glasgow against homelessness 'gatekeeping'

Shelter Scotland is protesting outside of City Chambers, raising concerns over the numbers of homeless people being turned away

Housing charity Shelter has today accused Glasgow City Council of turning away people facing homelessness as it protests outside the council’s headquarters.

Alongside the protest, which began this morning outside the City Chambers, Shelter Scotland published a report which raises concerns over the councils act of ‘gatekeeping’ homelessness services.

The report was issued to both Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Minister for Local Government and Housing Kevin Stewart MSP back in January, but has so far received no response.

Between July 2016 and November 2017 the charity logged 370 cases from across Scotland, which they claimed “breached Section 28 and 29 of the Housing (Scotland) Act and are therefore considered as gatekeeping” of which Glasgow City Council was responsible for 109.

Nearly 70 per cent of the cases had a mental or physical health issue, or both, according to the report. 

Sections 28 and 29 outline a legal basis for making a homeless application, stating that a local authority must accept a homeless application if they believe that person is homeless or at risk of homelessness (Section 28) and must provide temporary accommodation during an inquiry into their homelessness and sourcing permanent accommodation (Section 29).

At today’s protest Shelter Scotland claim the council had broken the law a total of 3,025 times by denying people the support they are legally entitled to and are calling for “an immediate ban on the practice of deny homeless people their statutory rights”, as well as an emergency meeting with the leader of the council within the next fortnight to discuss the issue.

Glasgow City Council spokesman said the council strongly refutes the accusations of gatekeeping and said in a statement: “Senior council officers have been seeking to meet with them over a number of months to discuss the issues they raised earlier in the year. Shelter has not responded to those requests for a meeting.

“Dialogue with senior officers would be a more constructive approach to addressing any concerns they have.”

Image: Shelter Scotland, Twitter

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