Glasgow City’s HSCP seeks landlords’ aid to address social housing shortage

Glasgow City’s HSCP seeks landlords’ aid to address social housing shortage

Officials from the Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) have appealed to all registered social landlords (RSLs), requesting they allocate 60% of their social housing lets to the resettlement of homeless households, an attempt to diminish reliance on temporary bed and breakfast accommodations.

This comes as HSCP grapples with a growing housing crisis, struggling to meet its annual need for 4,500 lets for the homeless, currently falling short by 1,600. Additionally, amidst a severe budgetary overrun by £16.646 million, the HSCP is attempting to curb spending on costly hotel and bed and breakfast accommodations.

This precarious situation has raised fears of potential legal breaches of their duty to provide emergency accommodation, with concerns of judicial sanctions, The Herald reports.

Scottish councils are statutorily obligated to offer temporary accommodation to those deemed unintentionally homeless. However, the housing regulator is warning of an “emerging risk of systematic failure” in local authority homelessness services, as the challenge of meeting this obligation becomes increasingly arduous.

Housing campaigners and organisations such as the Scottish Tenants Organisation (STO) and Living Rent are sounding the alarm on what they see as a looming disaster for Glasgow’s vulnerable citizens. The STO has urged the Scottish Government to intervene and allocate additional funds to the Glasgow City Council, highlighting the urgent need for more social housing builds.

Ruth Gilbert, national campaigns chairman for tenants rights group Living Rent, said: “The evidence could not be clearer. We need to build more social housing. For the HSCP to be short of the homes it needs to house some of society’s most vulnerable shows this government’s repeated failure to take the housing crisis seriously.

“For the nearly 29,000 people who are homeless in Scotland today, temporary accommodation is too often an insecure and poor-quality solution. The Scottish Government has it within its powers to build more social homes.”

Adding to the urgency, recent HSCP figures revealed that the number of children living in temporary accommodation has nearly doubled over the last decade, with a total of 2,849 children reported as of 1 May. Overall, the number of homeless people living in temporary accommodation has swelled to 6,832, marking an increase of 367 over a mere five months.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “In 2023/24, Glasgow City Council is receiving more than £1.5 billion to fund local services, which equates to an extra £62.6 million to support vital day to day services compared to 2022/23.

“In addition to homelessness funding provided through the local government settlement, Glasgow receives a share of the £30.5m we provide to local authorities annually for their work to prevent homelessness.

“We also offer Glasgow an annual allocation from our £100m multi-year Ending Homelessness Together fund to implement its rapid rehousing transition plan.”

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