PROTESTERS gathered outside Central Station yesterday morning (Thursday) to oppose cuts to third sector organisations who provide alternative homeless accommodation.

Members of the Scottish Tenants Organisation staged a protest at the annual Scottish Housing conference to demand Glasgow City Council meet its duty to provide homeless applicants with temporary and emergency housing.

They are demanding the council reverse the £2.6 million cuts to these emergency services next month which will see 99 supported accommodation beds axed. Some third sector groups will be shut down as a result.

Speaking about Thursday morning’s protest, Sean Clerkin, of the Scottish Tenants Association, said: “The demonstration went very well and we managed to get into the conference.

“There were only a few of us protesting as we didn’t want a large group of people there making it harder to get in.

“I went to the top table and two others handed out leaflets to explain why we were there. This is the first of a series of protests to reverse these cuts to the homeless service.

“We also demanded that Glasgow City Council reverse its £3.1 million planned cut to its homeless services budget in October 2019 which comprises a cut of £2.6 million and the transfer of an additional £500,000 to Housing First.

“We need to preserve the homeless service and ensure there is access to temporary and emergency accommodation.”

The local authority has already confirmed the money will be used to develop  Housing First properties which will prevent people from using temporary accommodation.

The aim of the organisation is to provide 24-hour support to individuals who are homeless, aged 18 or over and are involved in drug use.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow’s health and social care partnership said: “We are developing 600 Housing First tenancies with wraparound support over the next five years and reducing hostel provision by 500 units.

“This is to prevent people with complex needs spending time in temporary accommodation and, instead, providing them with safe, secure tenancies and intensive support.”