Govan Law Centre to challenge gender discrimination in the homelessness system

Govan Law Centre (GLC) is looking to launch a women’s rights project to provide legal services and support for women who are homeless or in housing need.

A crowdfunding bid is under way to allow the charity to challenge gender discrimination in the homelessness system. 

Govan Law Centre to challenge gender discrimination in the homelessness system

It has set a target of £5,000 to begin the Women’s Rights Homelessness Project. The project will take services to vulnerable women, working in partnership with women organisations to provide welfare rights, housing advice, legal services and court representation.

Solicitor Lorna Walker told The Evening Times: “We held outreach groups across Glasgow with charities that are already working with these communities and that was brilliant in being able to reach people who wouldn’t ordinarily contact a solicitors’ office.

“But the majority of people we were seeing were men so I have been keen to start a women’s project for quite some time now.

“We see women at crisis point, such as their case is calling at court or it comes out their partner is controlling their finances and they are too scared to leave.

“Maybe they have accommodation that is near their child’s school so they put up with it but the property is damp or the landlord isn’t carrying out necessary repairs and they don’t know that they have options.

“Sometimes women will stay with abusive partners because of financial issues or they will end up in sex work because of not getting benefits sorted.

“We want to help these women before it gets to that crisis point.”

GLC is seeking to bring forward strategic legal cases to address the inequality which it said keeps women in poverty and poor housing, denying them the opportunity of improving their, and their children’s lives, and from being equal members of society. 

One case is being put together after Glasgow City Council began Sheriff Court proceedings to recover over £13,000 of rent arrears from a single mother who it placed in temporary furnished accommodation almost four years ago.

Lorna added: “We know we can’t do this by ourselves so we need support from partner agencies to put us in touch with these hard to reach women.”

“It is empowering to give women their rights.

“If a person has a safe, decent place to live then they can start living the life they want.”

To contribute to the crowdfund, please click here.

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