Glasgow develops ambitious plans to end homelessness

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City has a five year plan 

5th February 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Glasgow has devised an ambitious five-year action plan to abolish homelessness.

The city faces the most persistent homelessness of any Scottish local authority with at least 5,300 homeless applications a year of which around 4,300 are deemed unintentional.

It comes as deaths in council-run homeless accommodation have soared to unprecedented levels with campaigners calling for urgent measures to be taken to help the most vulnerable.    

In a bid to tackle homelessness the city says it will reduce time in temporary accommodation by 50% and eradicate the use of bed and breakfast for homeless people. It will also replace 100 temporary furnished flats and 500 hostel places with 600 Housing First tenancies for the city’s most complex and disadvantaged service users.

Housing First provides mainstream social housing and 24 hour support to individuals who are homeless, aged 18 or over and involved in drug misuse. 

The proposals state: “Our plan is ambitious and reflects a strong commitment to the rapid rehousing philosophy. This commitment is reflected in the principles which underpin our plan.

“The time spent in temporary accommodation should be kept to a minimum with access to settled housing our main priority. People who have experienced homelessness need to be involved in the service development.”

Campaigners have been demanding urgent action as part of Glasgow’s overall homelessness and rough sleeping strategy.

There have been nearly 20 deaths in council-run homeless accommodation since the beginning of December, which frontline workers believe are related to the use of street drugs which have emerged across the UK.

Last month Susanne Millar, the chair of Glasgow’s Alcohol and Drug Partnership, described the number of overdose deaths among people in settled homeless accommodation as “tragic” and unusual.

“Glasgow is currently experiencing an unprecedented number of fatal and non-fatal overdoses believed to be linked to the use of street Valium," she said.

Meanwhile, Glasgow could become the first city in the UK to commit to a new international bill of rights aimed to end rough sleeping.

Glasgow is part of a network of European local authorities which together have launched a project called Inclusive Cities for All.

Member cities are asked to adhere to principles of European social rights. These are 20 values based on fair working conditions, social inclusion and equal opportunities,

Part of this project pledges to end sleeping rough in the city centre by 75% every week and cut the number of rough sleepers city-wide by 50% every year.