Housing and homelessness
The Housing & Homelessness Team runs four distinct projects designed to assist BME communities, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers
Frontline Housing advice service
The Homelessness Advice Service offers advice, information and casework support those facing homelessness, racism or housing problems to access safe, secure and affordable social housing. The Service assists people from BME Communities who find themselves homeless as a result of racist hate crime. The Service also provides resettlement support to newly granted refugees having to move from Home Office funded housing to social or private rented housing.
Covering Glasgow and elsewhere in Scotland, assisting BME, refugee and migrant communities seeking assistance with rehousing and repairs issues concerning Registered social landlords and private landlords.
The majority of our service users experience homelessness, hate crime and overcrowding. In addition they face long periods of living in temporary accommodation, in particular new refugee families who have just been granted leave to remain.
The Frontline Housing Advice Service took up 500 enquiries via telephone or email.
The project took up detailed homelessness casework for 33 households (160 last year) concerning homelessness rights, overcrowding, racist hate crime, disrepair and social isolation.
44 adults and 33 children benefited from the project. 10 households were assisted to improve their housing conditions. 17 households required assistance to apply for social housing. 19 households sought advice to avoid homelessness or access homelessness assistance. 5 were successfully rehoused. The main problems concerned homelessness (58%), hate crime (11%) and overcrowding (7%).
Private Rented Sector
Our advice and information service supports BME tenants and prospective tenants in the Private Rented Sector. The project aims to support tenants dealing with poor housing conditions and conflicts with their landlords, providing alternative housing options in the private sector, and informing BME tenants and landlords of their rights and responsibilities.
Throughout the financial year, the PRS service assisted in more depth 53 x households benefiting 101 adults and 108 children
Our advisers met a strong demand for advice regarding rent arrears, especially during April to March 2020 and information about eviction procedures. Lockdown and the pandemic triggered these requests.
The other main issues encountered incl., cases in which tenants were given misleading information by landlords or letting agents, not given appropriate documents incl., receipts for cash payments made for rent or deposits, and/or required support to resolve existing conflicts with their landlords, i.e., landlords not repairing goods as required.
Clients were systematically informed of their rights, which may help in the accommodation at the time of the advice, or when moving into a new property. In a quarter of our cases, tenants were in fact reluctant to confront their landlord over disrepair issues or other conflicts, and instead preferred to find an alternative accommodation: this translated into assisted housing search in the private sector, assisted housing applications to RSLs, and referrals to homelessness services.
Refugee Resettlement Service
Covering Glasgow and elsewhere in Scotland, assisting new refugees to build a new life through advice and practical support. A total of 275 refugees were assisted during the year.
Asylum Seekers Network
Covering the whole of Glasgow, other cities of dispersal in the UK, this is an area based network, helping over 500 asylum seekers with general requests and individual requests for advice, information and practical assistance, a good way to provide factual information about the asylum process, gauge new and upcoming issues for service users, and a way to pick up requests, and provide interpreters or address issues such as transportation. Set up during the pandemic and still going strong.
Humans of Glasgow Network
A digital volunteer network of around 400 volunteers who are assisting asylum seekers with practical requests for support in a crisis. Set up during the pandemic and still going strong. The network consists of volunteers in four distinct areas of Glasgow. It has proved successful in quickly assisting asylum seekers at times of crisis.