William Eichler 09 December 2019

Council’s homelessness service suffers ‘serious weaknesses’

Council’s homelessness service suffers ‘serious weaknesses’ image

A housing regulator has launched an inquiry to investigate ‘serious weaknesses’ in Glasgow City Council’s service for people who are homeless.

The Scottish Housing Regulator said that it will visit the council to directly test its performance, with a particular focus on how it discharges its duty to provide people with emergency and temporary accommodation.

The regulator published a report on the council in March 2018 which highlighted a range of problems in the council’s performance in delivering services to homeless people.

Kathleen McInulty, assistant director of regulation, said that the council had reported to the regulator that it continued to fail to meet its homelessness duties.

‘The council is reporting that it continues to fail to meet its duties to provide temporary and emergency accommodation to a significant number of people who approach it for help,’ she said.

‘It also reported that people who are homeless are still waiting significant times for a permanent home.’

Responding to the announcement of an inquiry, Susanne Millar, the interim chief officer of the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, said she welcomed the regulator’s intervention.

‘Glasgow is feeling the effects of welfare reform particularly acutely and the number of individuals affected by poor mental health or drug addiction is far greater than any other part of the country,’ she said.

‘We have plans in place to quickly rehouse people who are homeless and to help people to manage to stay in their homes, but there is still some way to go in meeting our statutory obligations and ultimately ending homelessness in the city.

‘I welcome SHR’s intervention. I am confident we can demonstrate that we are moving in the right direction, help them to understand the massive scale of the problems Glasgow is dealing with and work with them on future improvements to how we help people who are homeless.’

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