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Glasgow City Council homeless service under scrutiny

The Scottish Housing Regulator announced it will visit the council to test its performance.

Inquiry: Scottish Housing Regulator
Inquiry: Scottish Housing Regulator

An investigation has been launched into Glasgow City Council’s service for the homeless after “continued failure” to provide temporary and emergency accommodation to people in need.

The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) has announced an inquiry and will visit the council directly to test its performance in supporting people who are homeless.

The watchdog will do so with a particular focus on how the council fulfills its duty to provide people with emergency and temporary accommodation.

In March of last year, the regulator published a report which highlighted weaknesses in the council’s performance in delivering services to those who are homeless.

Kathleen McInulty, assistant director of regulation, said: “We have been monitoring the council’s performance since our report last year.

“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.

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

SHR has asked Glasgow City Council to “co-operate fully” with the inquiry, demonstrate it is discharging its statutory duties and to continue to provide the body with monthly performance information.

The regulator has said it will “examine how easily people can access the council’s homelessness service”.

The findings from the inquiry will be published in the new year.

Susanne Millar, interim chief officer of Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “The significant problems Glasgow faces in dealing with homelessness are well documented and we have been working with the regulator on these since 2016.

“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.

“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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