HOUSING charity Shelter has started court action against Glasgow City Council today.

The charity has begun legal proceedings over the council’s treatment of homeless people stating it is unlawfully denying people temporary accommodation which it terms “gatekeeping”.

It is seeking a judicial review of the practice where people are being turned away instead of being offered accommodation.

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Shelter Scotland said that once case workers get involved people are then in many cases offered accommodation.

The charity said that the council has not responded to its letter from August warning of legal action.

It gave until September 30 to respond and has today asked the Court of Session in Edinburgh to declare the council breaking the law.

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Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said: “Time’s up Glasgow City Council. We are taking you to court!

“We are not taking this action lightly. We exist to fight for people’s rights to a decent home and to stop homelessness happening.

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“By taking legal action we are trying to stop Glasgow City Council denying hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of people their right to a roof over their head.

“Rights are not a privilege, they are a legal entitlement enforceable by law and the Council should not be allowed to disregard the law with impunity. We believe that if action isn’t taken now to stop this practice, and public bodies are left to pick and choose which laws they wish to follow, then it will undermine citizens’ rights across the board.”

Shelter has launched a crowdfund campaign to help pay legal costs has raised more than £15,000.

The council has stated the accusation of Gatekeeping is “untrue” and has pointed to reporting differences in councils across the country.

It has also said that Shelter would be better working with the council to tackle homelessness instead of raising money for court action.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “Glasgow faces significant – and in a Scottish context, perhaps unique pressures on our homelessness accommodation, and we continue to work with the Scottish Housing Regulator and partners in the housing and third sectors to help those facing homelessness and the threat of homelessness.

“We share a common aim with Shelter and, rather than focusing on court action, we would hope it could work together with the council and its partners to ensure that these challenges are met.”