GLASGOW has become the first city in the UK to form an Alliance to tackle its homelessness problem.

The city’s homelessness services will be transformed over the next decade through the initiative. 

Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP) will recruit partners to form the Alliance to tackle rough sleeping, prevent homelessness and alleviate its impact, reduce the length of time people spend in temporary accommodation, minimise repeated homelessness and increase tenancy sustainment for people who were formerly homeless.

In turn, it is hoped there will be a reduced dependency on temporary, stop-gap accommodation.

The Alliance, which will include people with first-hand experience of homelessness, will be responsible for budget management and allocations for purchased homelessness services from the start of the contract in 2019.

Service providers will be invited to submit group bids to join the Alliance at the end of the year.

Although the GCHSCP currently buys a number of homelessness services from Third Sector partners, the new Alliance will create a closer collaborative working.

Councillor Mhairi Hunter, Chair of the Partnership’s Integration Joint Board, said: “This is a really innovative and exciting development. We are taking a leap into uncharted territory here, but we need to develop new approaches to tackle this complex social issue. 

“There is nothing of this type in the UK. Glasgow will be leading the way by formalising arrangements with partners to make best use of the resources available.

“It will be genuine partnership and ground-breaking stuff. We look forward to working collaboratively with partners to develop this ambitious new venture.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Mission, said: “We are looking forward to the Glasgow Alliance to End Homelessness and is a strong supporter of this collaborative model. 
“While any pioneering model leads to a level of uncertainty there is a strong positive sense of anticipation around the model and we’d certainly be keen to play a role in it.

"We’re excited about the role of people with lived experience of homelessness shaping services. We’re also thrilled to be able to witness a sector move away from a competitive tendering process to a collaborative approach.”

The move comes after Glasgow City Council was strongly criticised for leaving people in temporary accommodation for too long.
The Scottish Housing Regulator found people were spending an average of 228 days in temporary accommodation before they were found a home.

Following the findings, the council agreed a plan with the regulator to speed up applications and assessments to get people through the process more rapidly.