Housing associations keen to see improvements in Glasgow’s temporary accommodation, says GWSF
There is significant scope for transforming the use of temporary accommodation for homeless people in Glasgow with local housing associations keen to play their part, according to the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF).
The Scottish Government announced on Tuesday that it had accepted 15 of the 21 recommendations from the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group to transform temporary accommodation, including getting the right support in place from day one and giving more power to front-line workers.
A further six, relating to the devolution of funding from the UK government for temporary accommodation, will be analysed further in partnership with local authorities.
Other recommendations that have been accepted include promoting the widest possible range of options for securing a settled home, setting up personal housing plans for those at risk of homelessness and introducing legally enforceable quality and support standards for temporary accommodation.
Responding to the announcement, GWSF says its members are keen to work with Glasgow City Council to bring about a variety of improvements.
GWSF director David Bookbinder said: “GWSF warmly welcomes HARSAG’s recommendations on transforming the use of temporary accommodation. Temporary accommodation in Glasgow is mostly mainstream housing rather than B&B, but as the recent Scottish Housing Regulator report highlighted, there’s huge scope for getting people in and out of temporary accommodation much more quickly.
“Our members are keen to work with Glasgow City Council to reduce the estimated 15% of temporary flats currently lying empty – that’s around 90 of the 600 homes GWSF members lease to the council. Additionally, many homeless households have been living in temporary accommodation for a long time whilst awaiting a permanent home, with around 17% still living there two years or more after being assessed as homeless.
“In response, a number of GWSF member associations are offering to work in partnership immediately to see such tenancies ‘flipped’ where someone is settled and wants to make it their permanent home. GWSF believes that flipping tenancies would have an instant impact on clearing some of the current blockages within the homelessness system as well as generating a positive outcome for many homeless households. Overall, GWSF and its members want to assist in speeding up the whole process and improving communication between all agencies and individuals involved in tackling and preventing homelessness.
“We look forward to working closely with the council and other partners in Glasgow over the coming months to improve people’s experience of temporary accommodation and to help significantly reduce the time spent by those waiting for a settled home.”